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Full text of "Three gates"

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J Brown 

Three Gates, 



J Brown 



88500/ 
88500 



AUTHOR 



Three gates 



BORROWER'S NAME 



»nsjil6 




t^ 



h:x 



\) 



MEMORIAL HALL LIBRARY 

ANDOVER, MASS. 



This book may he kept for fourteen days. 
Overtime two cents a day. Books detained 
two weeks over the time will be sent for at 
the borrower's expense. 

Seven day fiction and other books in 
especial demand cannot be renewed or 
transferred. 

Books lost, or damaged must be paid for. 






3\^3coOlHO -2A^^ 



THREE GATES 



By 
EDNA A. BROWN 



ILLUSTRATED BY 
ANTOINETTE INGLIS 



:' W.1! 




BOSTON 
LOTHROP, LEE & SHEPARD CO. 



Copyright, 1928, 
By Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co. 



All Rights Reserved 



Three Gates 



Pbinteh in U. S. a. 



For Agatha^ 
who wanted me to write this book 



88500 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER ONE 

Tells About the Apple Orchakd . 11 

CHAPTER TWO 

Tells About Silver Sands . . 19 

CHAPTER THREE 

Tells About the Beach Picnic . 36 

CHAPTER FOUR 
Tells About Sunday Breakfast . 47 

CHAPTER FIVE 

Tells About Grandmother Thorne . 58 

CHAPTER SIX 
Tells How Polly Made Muffins . 75 

CHAPTER SEVEN 
Tells About the Blue John . . 85 

CHAPTER EIGHT 

Tells About the Rainy-Day Drawer 96 

7 



8 CONTENTS 

CHAPTER NINE 

Tells About THE Doll-House . . 109 

CHAPTER TEN 

Tells How Fair Rosamond Went 
Away 124 

CHAPTER ELEVEN 

Tells About the Street Fair . . 135 

CHAPTER TWELVE 

Tells About the Chestnut Picnic . 153 

CHAPTER THIRTEEN 

Tells About Polly's Birthday 
Present 165 

CHAPTER FOURTEEN 

Tells About the Library Play . 176 

CHAPTER FIFTEEN 

Tells About the Thanksgiving Sur- 
prises 188 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

Polly and Carola helped Susan 

with the balloons (Page 149) Frontispiece 

FACING PAGE 

She found a long streamer of kelp . 30 

Kerry saw something he wanted . . 102 
Polly danced about the porch . . 202 



9 



THREE GATES 

CHAPTER ONE 

Tells about the Apple Orchard 

IT was the kind of weather when bureau 
drawers stick and needles rust in their 
cushions. In New England such days 
usually come in midsummer but this especial 
morning was in late September, and a Septem- 
ber day ought to be clear and crisp, with a 
frolicsome wind chasing white cloud-sheep 
about a blue sky. 

Out in the orchard the tangled wet grass 
made a fine place for fallen apples to hide from 
a little girl's searching fingers. Polly Winsor 
didn't in the least mind picking up the wind- 
falls from the turf which Uncle Jack kept cut 

11 



12 THREE GATES 

with the lawn-mower, but she did not like to 
stick her hand down in the long grass. There 
was always a chance of plunging a finger into 
the heart of a rotten apple or of disturbing a 
hungry wasp at breakfast. 

Eight apple-trees stood in the orchard, and 
it was Polly's daily business to pick up the 
windfalls. On the lawn stood a bushel basket, 
and, when it was full. Uncle Jack took it away 
and gave Polly a bright nickel. Sometimes 
the basket was the two-bushel size, and that 
meant a dime for Polly's toy bank. One of 
the trees bore small dark-red fruit, and it took 
a great many of these apples to fill the basket. 
Polly was fond of these little red apples. 
They were so juicy and hot with sunshine when 
she bit into them. People called them " sap- 
sons," but Grandma said that when she was a 
little girl their name was " sops-of-wine." 
Even Grandma and Uncle Jack were proud of 



THE APPLE ORCHARD 13 

the sapson tree because it was the only one in 
the village of Longfield. 

On either side of the mown lawn lay flower- 
beds gay with old-fashioned flowers: larkspurs, 
foxgloves, tiger-lilies, nasturtiums, bleeding- 
hearts, and big yellow ones which Mother 
called calendulas, but Grandma liked their 
older name of " mary-golds." 

Between the orchard and the street stood 
the white house where Grandma and Uncle 
Jack and Mother and Polly lived. Polly and 
Mother had not always lived in Longfield. 
Once that was a place called " Grandma's-on- 
a-visit" and Polly's home was with Mother 
and Daddy in a big brick building near a city 
park. But four years ago, when Polly was 
only three. Daddy went to South America with 
some other men to explore a great river and 
find out about the plants that grew in the 
woods along its bank, and about the curious 



14 THREE GATES 

animals and birds and the Indians who lived in 
those forests. An accident happened to their 
boat on this strange river, and Daddy did not 
come home again. After a time Mother and 
Polly came to live in Longfield with Grandma 
Clifford and Uncle Jack. 

There was a lawn in front of the white house, 
and a fence shut it off from the street. This 
fence had three gates, of iron, painted green. 
People called the house "Three Gates.'* 
These gates were all in line, but just the same 
they were called the Back Gate, the Side Gate, 
and the Front Gate. The Back Gate usually 
stood open, the Side Gate was usually shut, 
and the Front Gate, which dragged a little, 
stuck about a foot from the post, and wouldn't 
close at all. 

Every morning at half-past seven. Mother 
and Uncle Jack started for the city, twenty- 
five miles away. Mother taught school and 



THE APPLE ORCHARD 15 

Uncle Jack worked in an architect's office, 
helping make plans to build houses and 
churches and business blocks. Sometimes they 
drove to the city in Uncle Jack's little car, but 
most of the time they walked to the station and 
took the train. 

On Saturdays Mother was at home, and 
Uncle Jack came back at noon. Of course 
Saturday was a holiday in Polly's school in 
Longfield. 

Because of the rain the day before, there 
were more apples than usual to pick up on this 
especial Saturday, which was really too hot for 
any day at all. Polly had on her rubbers and 
she was sure that her two feet were the hottest 
things anywhere aroimd. You needn't think 
she wanted to wear those rubbers, but it was a 
choice between them and bare feet. When 
Polly considered the rotten apples and the 
chewing wasps with prickers on one end, well — 



16 THREE GATES 

she preferred to wear rubbers in that long wet 
grass. Wouldn't you prefer to? 

One apple on top of another finally found 
every one picked up. The lawn lay smooth 
and clean, and the long grass was tidy. The 
biggest basket of all stood heaped, which meant 
another dime for Polly's bank. Polly some- 
times thought there were altogether too many 
apples in that back yard. Grandma did not 
agree with her. She thought there were none 
too many for pies and apple sauce and rosy 
jelly, to eat on waffles or to take to sick people. 

Polly's way to the house lay past the long 
flower border, and there was a bumblebee head 
down in a foxglove blossom. The trimipet 
was deep and Polly couldn't resist holding the 
edges of the tube together for an instant. 
How Mr. Bee did buzz! Angry as he was, he 
couldn't sting and he couldn't back out till 
Polly chose to let him. That was quite soon. 



THE APPLE ORCHARD 17 

The big blundering bee rumbled and com- 
plained so crossly as he flew away that one did 
hope he would feel better-natured before reach- 
ing his home and Mrs. Bee. His crooked legs 
were yellow with pollen from the many fox- 
gloves he had visited. 

" Oh, velvet bee, you're a dusty fellow. 
You've powdered your legs with gold ! " 

sang Polly as she watched him grumble away. 
The day she was seven years old, Mother read 
her that poem, and Polly knew every word of 
it. 

Then she picked all the brown seeds from the 
stems of the tiger-lilies and started for the 
house. 

A plank walk along the north fence, three 
steps to the back piazza, the screen door, the 
tiny hall, and Grandma's pleasant kitchen with 
a table just at hand for Polly's little basket 



18 THREE GATES 

full of the choicest sapsons. Grandma baking 
cookies, Mother washing the last of the Satur- 
day cooking-dishes. 

And on the table lay a letter directed to 

" Miss Pauline Winsor^ 
Theee Gates, 

LoNGFiELD, Mass/' 



CHAPTER TWO 

Tells about Silver Sands 

WHEN she saw that letter, Polly 
stopped only to take off her rubbers, 
but while they were coming off she 
twinkled from the tips of her toes to the top of 
her bobbed brown head. Mother was twin- 
kling, too, and so was Grandma. 

The envelope hadn't been through the mail, 
and Polly knew Mother's pretty writing which 
ran along like printing, but she also knew 
something nice was going to happen. The air 
was simply full of it. 
Her letter read: 

" At ten, or earlier, 
Justin Clifford 
Invites Miss Pauline 

To go for a picmc 
At Silver Sands" 
19 



20 THREE GATES 

How Polly laughed! Her gray eyes shone 
like stars. Justin wasn't a person at all as one 
would think from the note, but the name of 
Uncle Jack's little car. Spell it " Just-tin," 
and you will see what Polly's uncle meant. 

" O goody, goody ! " she exclaimed, dancing 
about the kitchen. " Are we to go bathing? 
May I take my bathing-suit? Grandma, will 
you go, too? " 

" Not into the Atlantic Ocean," Grandma 
answered firmly, " though I don't know but 
that I should like to sit in it on a day like this." 

" Yes, indeed, your bathing-suit," said 
Mother. " You and I will take a dip. Uncle 
Jack is staying in town for a ball game and 
won't be home to go with us. Would you like 
to invite Carola? " 

Would she like to invite her best friend? 
How many pleasant things this hot morning 
was bringing! 



SILVER 8ANDS 21 

Polly flew to the telephone and when Carola, 
at the other end of the wire, knew about that 
picnic, another white house saw another little 
dancing girl. Mrs. Thorne was willing that 
Carola should go to the beach. She telephoned 
about the lunch. 

" The lunch is packed," said Polly's mother. 
" There's plenty for every one. Don't bother 
about any more. Just let Carola bring a 
sweater and her bathing-suit and wear a not- 
too-good dress. We'll probably be home by 
six, but don't worry if we aren't." 

Mrs. Thorne said she wouldn't worry and 
that most of Carola's clothes were not-too-good 
after the way she had used them all summer, 
and that she had just bought a basket of Con- 
cord grapes, which Carola should bring. 

Polly ran upstairs, washed her face and 
hands, and put on a clean gingham dress. 
Mother said she needn't wear a hat, but that 



22 THREE GATES 

she must take a sweater. It might be cool at 
the beach. Grandma said it might even be 
cold. She didn't trust any weather after the 
middle of September. 

" May Kerry Crumb go? " Polly asked her 
mother. " He is sitting in the car this 
minute." 

In his own mind Kerry Crumb was per- 
fectly determined to go wherever his family 
was going, whether he were invited or not. 
Kerry was Uncle Jack's Irish terrier, six 
months old, and he loved the whole world and 
everything in it, even Mittens, — Polly's cat. 
Mittens didn't love Kerry. 

Mother said that Kerry might go and Polly 
ran out to tell him so. Kerry wiggled all over 
but would not set one paw outside the car. He 
felt safer to stay where he was. 

Carola arrived with the grapes, and there 
was a white paper package tied to the handle 



SILVER SANDS 23 

of the basket. Mother put all the lunch and 
the thermos bottles and the wraps in the back 
of the car. The bathing-suits and towels were 
rolled in Uncle Jack's rubber blanket. She 
put in a steamer rug and a cushion for 
Grandma. 

" Now, are we all ready? " she asked, look- 
ing round. " Into the back seat, chickens. 
Grandma will sit in front with me. Pocket- 
book, house key, car keys, — all here." 

Mother was dressed in white with a soft 
white hat pulled over her hair. She looked 
much like a little girl herself as she started the 
engine. 

The road to Silver Sands took them as 
Grandma said " across country." That meant 
that they drove nearly all the way on 
pleasant shady roads that led from village to 
village and didn't go through any large towns. 
The roadsides were '•colorful with asters and 



24 THREE GATES 

goldenrod and wild clematis covering the stone 
walls. In some of the fields men were cutting 
the cornstalks and tying them into shocks like 
little Indian tents. Other fields held piles of 
yellow pumpkins and purple cabbages. And 
everywhere there were apples. These did not 
interest Polly. 

Kerry sat between the two little girls on the 
back seat. His head was on a level with theirs, 
and he kept giving them hasty kisses to show 
how glad he was that he was going on a picnic. 
His master often called him an " angel- 
puppy," and for once Kerry deserved the 
name. 

The drive to Silver Sands took an hour and 
a half and only the last five miles was over the 
State road. The rest of the way there was 
hardly any traffic. 

" We should make better time were Jack at 
the wheel," said Mother when they were almost 



SILVER SANDS 25 

there. " But my passengers are too precious 
for me to take any risks with fast driving." 

" I like better to have you drive," said 
Grandma. " We shall get there soon enough." 

When they reached Silver Sands they foimd 
other picnic parties. Several cars were al- 
ready parked by the bath-house. Mother 
found a place for Justin, and she and the chil- 
dren took the rug and the luncheon and 
Grandma's book and umbrella down on the 
beach. Certainly it was not cold on that beach, 
but just as surely it was cooler than in Long- 
field, for a little salty breeze came from the 
ocean. 

" We will go bathing right away," said 
Mother. ** If we don't, we shall have to wait 
till after lunch." 

Polly and Carola thought it much the best 
plan to bathe at once. They knew that people 
who walked into the ocean shortly after eatmg 



26 THREE GATES 

came out with some very queer feelings inside 
them. 

Only a part of the bath-house was open and 
the attendant gave Mother a room up a steep 
stair. That part seemed older than the rest 
of the building, and the door to their room was 
fastened by a hasp that went over an iron loop 
with a padlock through the loop. 

Mother imlocked the padlock and the door 
opened inwards upon a tiny cell with a seat 
along one side, and three nails on the wall. 

" One for Carola, one for Polly, and one for 
me," she said. " How about buttons? Any 
hard ones out of reach? " 

Neither little girl took more than two 
minutes to get into her bathing-suit. Another 
half -minute answered to hang up their clothes 
so as to leave room for Mother, and they were 
down the steep stair and running across the 
beach to Grandma. 



SILVER SANDS 27 

The tide was far out, and a long wide stretch 
of shiny wet sand lay between them and the 
blue water. Lazy lines of surf kept rolling in, 
curving in a white arc and crashing down on 
the sands. 

" Mother said not to go in till she comes/* 
Polly told Grandma. 

"Will you please hold my beads?" asked 
Carola. 

Mrs. Clifford put Carola's beads around her 
neck. When Mother came from the bath- 
house she gave Grandma another string of 
beads, her wrist-watch, and the pocket-book. 

" You'd better give me the key to the bath- 
house," said Grandma. 

" Goodness ! " said Mother. " Where is the 
key?" 

" I saw it on the seat in the dressing-room," 
said Carola. 

" So did I," said PoUy. 



28 THREE GATES 

" But how could you lock the door? " in- 
quired Grandma. 

" It fastened with a padlock," Mother ex- 
plained. Then she laughed and Carola 
laughed, but Polly looked troubled. 

" Shall we have to go home in our bathing- 
suits? " she asked. 

" No, my precious, we shall not. The at- 
tendant will have a duplicate key. She'll let 
us in." 

" Edith, you'd better see about it now," said 
Grandma. " The woman may not be around 
when you and the children want to dress." 

Mother went back to see about the key and 
the children ran down on the wet sands. Over 
part of the level surface rippled tiny waves 
about three inches deep. 

Two girls rather older than Polly and 
Carola, and a nurse carrying a cunning baby, 
came down the beach. The baby could not 



SILVER SANDS 29 

walk, but he wore a bathing-suit and his arms 
and legs were brown. The girls had spades 
and, when they reached the part of the beach 
where the httle waves were breaking, they dug 
up the sand and made a round wall. As soon 
as the wall was done, the water filled the en- 
closed space. The nurse put the baby into this 
little outdoor bath-tub and gave him a toy boat 
to sail. Such a happy baby ! 

" I wish your mother would come," Carola 
said, after what seemed a very long time. 

" Perhaps she couldn't find the bath-house 
woman," said Polly, but she, too, was anxious 
to get into those waves. She found a long 
streamer of kelp, long enough to use for a 
skipping-rope. Carola found another, and 
Polly, in her orange-colored suit, and Carola, 
in blue, went skipping down the beach. 
Grandma smiled to see their bright colors 
against the sea. 



30 THREE GATES 

Two young men came running down the 
shore. One plunged directly into the ocean; 
the other stopped on the edge. " Is it cold, 
Bill? " he asked. 

" Cold enough to shake your teeth out! " his 
friend replied. " Better go back for an ice- 
pick!" 

At this, Carola and Polly looked at each 
other. How could the water be so cold as that 
when on shore people felt like human gum- 
drops? But it must be true, for the first young 
man came out and began to turn hand-springs 
to get himself warm. 

" I wish I could do that," said Carola, watch- 
ing him in admiration, and when they went 
back near Grandma, she tried it and so did 
Polly. It wasn't so easy as it looked, and they 
only got sand in their hair. 

Kerry wajs tearing up and down the beach 
as fast as he could go. He chased the sand- 



SILVER 8ANDS 31 

pipers till they stopped scrambling along the 
shore and took to their wings. He chased the 
shadows cast by gulls floating high in the air. 
He flew past Polly, digging a hole in the sand, 
and pulled her hair with his teeth so that it 
hurt. When she scolded him, he lay flat on 
his side and pretended he hadn't done it. He 
made himself extremely warm and then he 
went to the edge of the baby's bath-tub and 
took a drink. 

" Oh, he will be sick! " exclaimed Carola. 

Polly pulled him away, but soon Kerry 
learned something he didn't know before. He 
found out that salt water isn't good for little 
dogs to drink. 

After a long time Mother came back. She 
had the bath-house key. 

" There wasn't another key," she told them. 
" We had to open the padlock by poimding it 
with a stone." 



32 THREE GATES 

" Did the woman like it? " Carola asked. 

" She did not," said Mrs. Winsor. " But I 
think she should have given us a compartment 
with a different lock. Come, let's race to the 



ocean." 



Kerry Crumb won the race, but he was no 
longer interested in that bad-tasting water. 
Its edge was plenty near enough for him. 

Oh, but the Atlantic was cold! Carola and 
Polly screamed and ran ashore. 

Mother laughed. She walked straight out 
until she reached the great rolling curves of the 
surf and she dived right through the next big 
wave when it came. The children saw her 
floating beyond it. 

For a few moments they watched her. 
Sometimes, instead of diving into the wave, she 
would jump just as it reached her, and then 
fling herself backward upon it and ride inshore 
on its top. She was having a wonderful time 



SILVER SANDS 33 

with those breakers, but Polly and Carola 
much preferred the sandy shallow edge. 

Kerry sat and whined dolefully. He was 
sure that his whole family ought to come ashore 
at once. 

Carola and Polly were finally thoroughly 
wet all over and were willing to go up to the 
bath-house and dress. Grandma gave them 
the key. 

" This time we will leave the key outside the 
door," said Polly, and she laid it carefully on 
the corridor floor. 

Rather sticky work getting out of wet suits 
and using towels that didn't like to absorb salt 
water. Worst of all, the door kept swinging 
in. The wooden button to fasten it was miss- 
ing. 

" This isn't a nice bath-house at all," said 
Carola, and she gave the door a hard push. 
Something slammed and the door stayed shut. 



34 THREE QATE8 

It stayed shut only too well. When the 
children were dressed and ready to leave, they 
could not open it. 

For a moment, Polly looked ready to cry. 
Then her face cleared. " Mother will be com- 
ing and she'll let us out.'" 

" But she said she should sit on the beach till 
we came," protested Carola. 

" She'll wonder what's happened and come 
to see," comforted Polly. " But it's fiercely 
hot up here." 

Just then somebody came into the little room 
below them, talking all the time to another per- 
son outside the building. She slammed her 
door. 

" Perhaps she'll come up and let us out," 
whispered Carola. " I'm going to ask her," 
and she did so. 

" Bless you, child," said the voice from be- 
low, " I would come, of course, only I've just 



SILVER SANDS 35 

taken off my bathing-suit. But I'll call my 
friend." 

In just about two minutes a fat lady, much 
out of breath, puffed up those narrow steep 
stairs and released the hasp which had fallen 
over its loop. 

"I do not like this dressing-room," said 
Polly, after thanking the lady for letting them 
out. " I hope they never give it to us again." 

" I think I'd better stay right here and keep 
this horrid door from doing anything else be- 
fore your mother comes," said Carola. " You 
run and get her. And don't let that key get 
inside, will you? " 



CHAPTER THREE 

Tells about the Beach Picnic 

SOMETIMES, on a Saturday picnic at 
Silver Sands, Mother built a fire of 
driftwood and cooked bacon and baked 
potatoes in the ashes, but she thought to-day- 
was too warm for cooking on the beach to be 
any fun. It was to be a different kind of 
luncheon. 

The little girls were hungry enough to eat 
even some things they didn't like, but they both 
liked sandwiches of graham bread and cottage 
cheese, and stuffed eggs, and Grandma's mo- 
lasses cookies, and the grapes from Carola's 
basket. The surprise package tied to the 
handle was a box of chocolate peppermints. 

There was cold milk for everybody. 

36 



THE BEACH PICNIC 37 

Kerry Crumb had a dog biscuit which he 
gnawed hungrily, and didn't seem to mind how 
much sand he ate as well. Polly tried to have 
him keep it on the rubber poncho, but Kerry 
preferred to stay on the poncho himself, and 
to keep the biscuit just over the edge on the 
sand. 

" Why did Mr. Jack give him that name? " 
Carola asked. 

" Because he is an Irish terrier and County 
Kerry is in Ireland," explained Mrs. Winsor, 
" and Crumb, because he was very tiny and 
just the color of the brown-bread crumbs left 
from supper the night he came." 

Carola thought it a cunning name. She 
gave Kerry a peppermint, which he ate at once, 
and then didn't like the taste left in his mouth. 
Polly gave him some milk from the thermos 
bottle. 

After luncheon. Mother lay down for a nap 



38 THREE GATES 

on the rug, and Grandma and the children 
walked a long way up the beach, away to the 
cliff at its northern end, where the beach turned 
into brown rocks, and the road vanished into 
the sky. Kerry rushed around at full speed, 
poking his nose into the seaweed above high- 
water mark, and running for pebbles and 
sticks which the children threw for him. 
Kerry would be a tired little dog that night. 

When they came back from their walk. 
Mother was sorting the dried rockweed. 
When it first drifted in on the tide, it was 
light-bro^vn in color, and wet, with seed pods 
that popped when pinched. Then it dried and 
turned dark brown and finally became brittle 
and inky black. The pods and stems formed 
pretty curves and angles. 

" What are you going to do with it. 
Mother? " Polly asked. 

" See how lovely these little branches are," 



TEE BEACH PICNIC 39 

said Mother. " I am going to take home some 
of the prettiest ones and use them with my 
classes in design." 

Polly was interested at once. She knew how 
lovely were the designs which Mother made 
from leaves and woodbine berries, and bar- 
berry clusters and bits of moss. Almost any 
growing thing gave Mother an idea for her 
classes. And Polly knew about placing a 
mirror to reflect the branch of berries and so 
make the design double, or even double it 
again, by using two mirrors. Mother was al- 
ways doing tremendously interesting things 
with metal and leather and putty and paints 
and pots of dye, or even with plain pencils and 
paper. 

Carola and Grandma were interested also, 
and a great deal of black, dried rockweed was 
sorted over until they were sure they had the 
prettiest sprays, and plenty of them. They 



40 THREE GATES 

forgot all about Kerry, curled up on one comer 
of the rug for a nap. When they did remem- 
ber him, he was gone. 

Everybody jumped up to look for him, for 
Kerry was a valuable puppy and Uncle Jack 
thought a great deal of him. Kerry was so 
young and so friendly that he thought every- 
body he met was delightful. It would be 
terrible if Kerry were stolen. 

But Kerry was not far up the beach, rolling 
about in the seaweed above high-water mark. 
He came when he was called, and they wished 
he had not come. 

Kerry had found a fish which had been on 
the beach a good while, and how his pretty 
cinnamon-colored coat did smell! It was not 
pleasant to have him near them, even on the 
wide beach. To ride home with him seemed 
impossible. 

"Dear me! what a naughty puppy!" ex- 



TEE BEACH PICNIC 41 

claimed Mrs. Winsor. "What shall we do. 
Mother? He'll have to be washed." 

" He certainly will," agreed Grandma. 
"And I don't see how. Is there any fresh 
water at the bath-house? " 

" Not a drop," said her daughter. " I have 
made that attendant sufficient trouble as it is. 
What am I going to do? We can't walk up to 
a strange house and ask if our dog may have a 
bath!" 

Grandma agreed that this could not be done. 
She took a handful of wet seaweed and 
scrubbed Kerry with it. The scrubbing did 
not improve matters, except to make Kerry 
understand that he was in disgrace. 

" Nothing but soap and water will do any 
good," said Grandma. " Edith, you'll have to 
drive somewhere and buy a cake of salt-water 
soap. Then you can put on your bathing-suit 
and wash him in the ocean. Naughty Kerry ! " 



42 TEREE GATES 

Kerry looked more wretched than ever. 
Mrs. Clifford usually fed him and she almost 
never scolded him. What had happened to his 
best friend? 

Mrs. Winsor went off to get the soap and 
the disgraced Kerry was sternly commanded to 
lie down and to keep still. While she was 
gone, two interesting things happened. 

First, they saw an airplane which flew so 
low above the beach that it seemed as though 
the pilot meant to land. But he only circled 
around, sometimes over the water and some- 
times over the shore. He waved his hand to 
the people and everybody waved back. He 
flew around in a double loop and then he went 
straight away, disappearing over the headland 
to the north. It must be fun to be sky-riding 
on a blue-and-white September afternoon. 

The other interesting thing happened right 
on the beach. Two young men in bathing- 



THE BEACH PICNIC 43 

suits came down to the water, one carrying a 
double-bladed paddle, and the other the most 
interesting boat Polly and Carola had ever 
seen. 

It was so light that it could be carried on 
his shoulder, and it was only an oblong frame- 
work of narrow wooden strips with four enor- 
mous red rubber balls at the corners. 

The minute the boat appeared a cry of 
pleasure went up from the beach. The chil- 
dren came running to ask for a ride on the 
" bubble-boat." 

The young men said that the water was too 
. rough that afternoon to take any passengers. 
Some day, when it was calm, the children might 
go. One of them took the boat out beyond 
the line of surf and then sat on the cross-pieces 
and paddled up and down. The four big wet 
red balls reflected the sunshine. The other 
young man sat down on the beach to await his 



44 THREE GATES 

turn. Grandma asked him to tell them about 
the boat. 

He said it was one of the kind they used for 
surf sports in the Hawaiian islands. Nobody 
at this beach had one before. Paddling it was 
great fun, but people who could not swim well 
ought never to try it. When the ocean was 
smooth, without breakers, and the bubble-boat 
could keep near shore in shallow water, they 
sometimes took the children, but never when 
the surf was as high as to-day. 

Then he noticed Kerry and said he was a 
nice little fellow, and then he smelled that 
dreadful fish. 

Grandma explained that her daughter had 
gone to buy the right kind of soap so that she 
could wash him in the ocean. 

" Why, I'll wash him," said the young man. 
" I'm dressed for it, and I'm used to dogs." 

When Mrs. Winsor came back with the 



THE BEACH PICNIC 45 

soap, she was glad not to have to get into her 
wet bathing-suit and take Kerry into the sea. 

The young man covered him with lather and 
rinsed him and lathered him again and again. 
Poor Kerry looked very unhappy, but it was 
all his own fault. Finally the young man 
brought him out, smelling strongly of soap but 
of nothing else. 

" I'm everlastingly obliged to you," said 
Mother. 

" Glad to do it," said the young man 
pleasantly. " Better rub him dry. He's 
shivering and may take cold." 

He went away to take his turn with the 
bubble-boat, and Mother and Carola and Polly 
all rubbed Kerry with the bath-towels which 
would have to be washed, anyway. He was a 
sad little dog with a very poor opinion of 
strange young men and of the Atlantic Ocean. 

When he was as dry as they could make 



46 THREE GATES 

him, Polly buttoned him into her sweater and 
made him lie down in the warm sand right in 
the sunshine. 

** He won't have pneumonia now, will he, 
Mother? " she asked anxiously. 

" I don't think he will have so much as a 
sniffle," said Mother. " He has stopped shiver- 
ing and is warm to touch." 

" Uncle Jack's angel puppy will be clean 
enough to sleep on his bed to-night," sighed 
Polly. " I do think, Mother, when Grandma 
lets Uncle Jack have Kerry in his room, you 
might let Mittens sleep with me." 

" I do not approve of a pussy in a little girl's 
bed," laughed Mother. 



CHAPTER FOUR 

Tells about Sunday Breakfast 

IT was a question whether Justin would 
reach Longfield first, or whether the sun 
would reach the horizon. Justin won the 
race by only a few minutes. When he stopped 
to leave Carola at her home, three-quarters of 
the sun's disc was flaming a good-night to the 
world. When Mother and Polly were taking 
the things from the car, the sun was half gone, 
and, by the time Justin was behind his bed- 
room door, only pink clouds and rosy twilight 
were left to tell the story of that happy Satur- 
day. 

Kerry slept nearly all the way home, his 

head and shoulders in Polly's lap, the rest of 

him in Carola's. Kerry had spent a hard day. 

On the porch Mittens was waiting, his pretty 

47j 



48 THREE GATE8 

little double front paws tucked under his white 
vest. Those paws had extra toes, so that they 
really looked like tiny mittens. When he first 
came to Polly as a kitten baby, he tried to walk 
and tumbled over his front paws. Then he sat 
down and lifted first one paw and then the 
other, looking at them as though wondering 
what on earth was the matter with his feet. 

Mittens no longer fell over his extra toes. 
He flew after the autumn leaves like a little 
fur whirlwind. He climbed the highest trees 
in the neighborhood to sit on branches no 
bigger than twigs, and swaying in the wind. 
Very often he hustled up the vine trellises to 
the sill of Polly's window. Once Grandma 
looked from her room to see Mittens walking 
the ridgepole of the house next door. A ladder 
left by a painter gave him the chance to ex- 
plore a roof. He was always getting into open 
bureau drawers or trying to squeeze himself 



SUNDAY BREAKFAST 49 

into boxes if the covers were ajar. He thought 
it his right to be present at the opening of 
every package brought into the house. When 
Mother placed fresh flowers about the rooms. 
Mittens at once went to look them over. And 
nobody, from Grandma down to Polly, ever 
left a dress or a garment on a bed, but Mittens 
was found curled up on it. 

When Mittens saw Polly, he got up at once 
and ran to meet her. He put his head down 
on the walk and almost turned a somersault. 
Then he flopped completely over and purred 
loudly. 

Polly picked Mittens up and kissed him. 
She told him she didn't think it was fair to 
leave him behind and to take Kerry. She also 
told him how badly Kerry had behaved. Mit- 
tens purred even louder. He had missed Polly 
and was glad to see her, but he didn't care a 
whisker for Kerry. 



50 THREE GATES 

Uncle Jack was back from his ball game. 
The big basket of apples was gone, and a shin- 
ing ten-cent piece was waiting for Polly. She 
went at once for her toy bank which was quite 
an miusual kind. 

It looked like a little metal house sitting in a 
front yard surrounded by a fence. The house 
had two front doors. When Polly turned a 
handle, a little metal dog with a pleasant ex- 
pression and a shaggy tail came out of the left- 
hand door. In his mouth he carried a plate 
on which he took the piece of money. When 
the handle turned again, the little brown dog 
moved across the front yard of the house and 
went in at the other door. He always put the 
money into the bank; one could hear it falling 
from his plate. But he never brought any out 
again. 

After her long day at the beach, Polly was 
so sleepy that her head began to nod before 



SUNDAY BREAKFAST 51 

she left the table. Uncle Jack said she must 
have beach sand in her eyes. Something was 
certainly the matter with them, for she didn't 
even hear the last half of Mother's bedtime 
story. 

The next thing she knew the smi was shining 
across her bed and a crisp cool breeze ruffled 
the muslin curtains at the windows. That 
breeze smelled as though the day really be- 
longed to September and was not one lost from 
midsummer. 

Polly sat up. Her bed was in an alcove of 
the room she and Mother shared. Mother, 
over by the other window, was still asleep. 
This was Sunday and Polly knew that her 
family would like to sleep later than on days 
when they had to rush for trains, so she cuddled 
down under her blankets to think about the 
waves and the gulls and the bubble-boat. But 
she kept her face toward Mother's bed. The 



52 THREE GATES 

moment Mother's eyes opened, Polly intended 
to dash across that room for a morning cuddle. 

From the window she could see the top of 
the sapson tree. Ever so many cunning little 
yellow birds were flitting about its branches. 
All the birds appeared to be going in one direc- 
tion. Perhaps the sapson was a one-way tree 
for air traffic, with its branches reserved for 
birds bound south. 

What was that queer sound in the kitchen? 
Somebody was rattling dishes. Grandma 
never made so much noise. That other queer 
sound was Kerry's toe-nails clicking on the 
floor. Uncle Jack must be downstairs. Polly 
half-remembered hearing him say something 
about going off early if the morning were 
pleasant. He must be getting his own break- 
fast. 

Presently she heard Kerry clicking upstairs 
and then the door of her room opened a crack. 



SUNDAY BREAKFAST 53 

Kerry stuck his nose in, and Uncle Jack's voice 
said " Edith! " in a loud whisper. 

Mother couldn't have been so sound asleep 
as she looked. " Yes, what is it? " she rephed 
at once. 

" Edith, I don't know what's the matter with 
the oatmeal. It looks like putty." 

" Don't eat it then," said Polly's mother. 

" But I want it for my breakfast," whispered 
Uncle Jack. " Stop that, you pesky little 
demon." 

His sister roused a little more. " It can't 
be spoiled, if you mean what was left from yes- 
terday." 

" It looks like putty," repeated Uncle Jack. 
" Shut up, you angel pup ! " 

Polly couldn't pretend any longer. She 
giggled right out and Kerry gave a little yelp. 

"Don't let that dog wake Mother," said 
Mrs. Winsor. " She was tired last night. Take 



54 THREE GATES 

him away, Jack, and 111 come down and see 
what is the matter." 

" It looks like putty," her brother announced 
for the third time. " Whew! I must rescue 
the toast from the power of the flame." 

Uncle Jack shut the door and Mother sat up 
in bed. She smiled at Polly and pulled on her 
pretty pink kimono and reached for her slip- 
pers. " I shall have to go down and see what 
my little brother wants," she said. 

" May I come? " begged Polly. " I do so 
want to know what looks like putty." 

" Come along," said Mother. " It may he 
putty, for all I know." 

Polly hopped into her red kimono and slip- 
pers and they went down to the kitchen. 
Uncle Jack was looking dubiously at the con- 
tents of a saucepan boiling on the gas-stove. 

Uncle Jack was extremely fond of oatmeal. 
Much to Polly's bewilderment he would even 



SUNDAY BREAKFAST 55 

choose it for lunch at a city restaurant. To 
eat porridge on a cold winter morning was one 
thing, but to choose it to eat in a tea-room when 
one might order creamed chicken or a baked 
egg in a cunning nest of spinach was more than 
Polly could understand. Uncle Jack liked 
oatmeal even better than ice-cream. No won- 
der he was disappointed at the way it acted 
this morning. 

Polly looked into the saucepan and saw a 
queer, colorless, greasy mess resembling putty 
as much as anything. Then she looked up at 
Mother's face, and that wore a puzzled expres- 
sion. 

" I never saw anything like it," Mother ad- 
mitted. " Was it in the refrigerator? " 

" It was," said Uncle Jack. " A bowl full. 
Left from yesterday. I told Mother I would 
eat it this morning." 

" Have you tasted it? " asked his sister. 



56 THREE GATES 

" Once. No more, thanks." 

" It must have spoiled," mused Mrs. Win- 
sor, " but I don't see why it should look so 
queer. Can't you eat that quick-cooking kind 
for once, Jacky? Or some shredded wheat? " 

" I'd as soon eat excelsior," said her brother. 
" I don't like that quick oatmeal half so well 
as this, but if you know where the package is, 
lead me to it." 

"What is the matter with the oatmeal?" 
Polly asked when she and Mother were going 
back to their room. 

" I can't imagine, darling. Perhaps 
Grandma may know." 

Grandma did know. An hour later, they 
had breakfast together in the alcove by the 
sunny kitchen window. Uncle Jack planned 
that table with the seat on either side. Polly 
loved the breakfast-nook. She and Grandma 
used it for their noon lunch, because it was 



SUNDAY BREAKFAST 57 

cosier for two alone. Besides, it saved 
Grandma many steps. There was a delft 
blue runner on the table and the napkins were 
blue and the breakfast dishes a clear yellow. 

This morning the table held a vase full of 
orange and cream-colored California poppies 
which looked like butterflies ready for flight. 
And there was a blue bowl piled with dark blue 
Concord grapes. Such a pretty breakfast! 
Only to see that table made Polly hungry. 

" Grandma," she asked, " what made Uncle 
Jack's oatmeal that funny color? " 

" It isn't oatmeal at all," replied Grandma. 

"It isn't!" exclaimed her daughter. 
" What has he cooked up, Mother? " 

" The bowl of pie-crust I was keeping on 
ice for my next pies," replied Grandma. " No 
wonder you didn't recognize it, Edith. I 
never myself saw pie-crust brought to a boil 
before." 



CHAPTER FIVE 

Tells about Grandmother Thorne 

THE next Friday, Carola invited Polly 
to come home with her after school. 
Grandma said Polly might go. 
Carola and Polly were both in the second 
grade and their teacher was Miss Rand. She 
had been teaching for many years and knew 
just how to make lessons interesting for little 
girls. And when two little girls were es- 
pecially fond of each other, she let them sit 
together as long as they did not talk too much 
nor do anything disorderly. Some teachers 
are not so understanding. 

Carola and Polly sat side by side in the 
fourth row of seats in Miss Rand's schoolroom. 

On this afternoon when Carola knew that 

58 



GRANDMOTHER THORNE 59 

Polly might come home with her, it was hard to 
pay attention to their work. 

Three o'clock came at last and school was 
over for the pupils in the first two grades. 
When one became a third-grade scholar, school 
kept half an hour later. Three o'clock on an 
autunm day meant two hours to play with 
Carola. 

They ran nearly all the way to Carola's 
home. The Thornes lived in a big white house 
set in large grounds with many flowers and 
trees about it, and there were more people in 
Carola's family than in Polly's. 

Besides Carola's father and mother there was 
Grandmother Thorne. She was much older 
than Polly's grandma and not very strong, so 
that she nearly always stayed in a big sunny 
upstairs sitting-room with a pleasant young 
woman to take care of her. 

Then there was Susan, Carola's older sister. 



60 THREE OATES 

Susan was fifteen, which seemed very grown- 
up to the little girls. 

Carola also had two brothers. Richard was 
only four. He couldn't pronounce his name 
and called himself " Wicky," so everybody 
called him that. Her older brother was twelve 
and he had an odd name. At least, Polly 
thought it odd until Grandmother Thorne told 
her that when Massachusetts was first settled 
most parents called their children by old- 
fashioned names like Patience and Remem- 
brance, Pardon, Hopestill, and Truth. Nearly 
three hundred years ago a little boy in the 
Thorne family was named Dutee, which was 
the way they spelled duty then. 

When he grew up and married and had a 
little son, he named his baby Dutee. And 
when that baby grew up, he did exactly the 
same thing, and they went on doing it. 
Carola's father was called Dutee, and her 



GRANDMOTHER THORNE 61 

brother Dutee was the eleventh little boy in 
the Thorne family who had been so named dur- 
ing those many, many years. 

Every day every one of the Thorne children 
went to spend a few moments with their grand- 
mother, and Carola suggested to Polly that 
they go up to her room. 

" Oh, perhaps, if she feels quite rested, she'll 
show us the little old tea-set," said Polly. 
"Will you ask her?" 

" Yes," said Carola. " And then we'll go 
to the barn and saddle Silverheels." 

Carola knocked on Grandmother's door and 
Miss Somers opened it. She said that Madam 
Thome would be glad to see them for a few 
moments. 

Carola's grandmother was sitting near the 
open window in a big stuffed chair of the kind 
called a wing-chair. They are comfortable for 
people who are old or not very strong or well 



62 THREE GATES 

because the high back and sides keep off the 
breezes. 

Polly loved to look at Carola's grandmother. 
She had snow-white hair that waved away from 
a face which was sweet and serene whenever 
Polly saw it. She was always dressed in soft, 
cream-white woolen dresses, and on her thin 
white hands were several rings with beautiful 
shining stones. Polly's mother had once 
painted a picture of Grandmother Thome sit- 
ting in her wing-chair. 

As the children came to her, she smiled and 
held out her hand to Polly. Carola, she had 
already seen that morning. 

" How is Polly to-day? " she asked. 

"Very well, please, thank you," said Polly, 
getting a little mixed, but she took Grand- 
mother's hand, and did not forget to curtsey. 
Mother had told her that whatever else she 
forgot, she miLst remember to curtsey to 



GRANDMOTHER THORNE 63 

Grandmother Thorne. The hand felt dif- 
ferently from those of other people, as though 
it no longer did anything harder than hold a 
magazine or a handkerchief. It felt as though 
it were resting. 

Grandmother asked how school had gone 
that afternoon and they told her all the news, 
how Ella had brought a tiny turtle for the 
aquarium ; how Marion had disgraced the whole 
room by chewing gum, when all the second 
grade knew perfectly well that no lady ever 
chews gum; how Miss Rand read them a poem 
about Jack Frost and wrote it on the board so 
that every one could learn it. Carola told her 
about the first drawing-lesson of the term, and 
how the drawing-teacher said that Polly's work 
was best of all. 

Grandmother smiled at Polly. " That will 
please Mother," she said. " Be sure to tell her, 
Polly dear." 



64 THREE GATES 

Polly meant to tell Mother, but she was glad 
Carola was the one to speak about it now. 

" Grandmother," asked Carola, " may we 
look at the little tea-set? Will it tire you to 
have us? " 

" Not at all," said Grandmother. " You 
may ask Miss Somers to get it." 

Carola went to speak to the nurse who had 
gone into Grandmother's bedroom. Presently 
she returned, carrying a wooden box. 

" My dear, will you bring up the little 
stand? " Grandmother asked Polly. 

Polly could easily carry the light low table. 
She placed it by Grandmother's side and 
Carola put the box upon it. Grandmother 
turned the key. 

Inside was a doll's tea-set. It was very, 
very old, and it was made of real silver. 
Grandmother said it had been made in Eng- 
land when George the Fourth was king of that 



GRANDMOTHER THORNE 65 

country, and that was a great many years ago. 
So you can see that it was right to regard the 
tea-set as unusual. 

The teapot stood two inches high and held 
about a tablespoonful of water, and it would 
really pour. 

Just then, Miss Somers brought Madam 
Thorne her afternoon tea on a tray. Grand- 
mother asked her to fill the tiny silver teapot 
from the big one, and to put cream in the wee 
pitcher and sugar in the sugar-bowl. Miss 
Somers did all this and also rinsed the silver 
cups in hot water. 

Then Grandmother asked Polly if she would 
be so kind as to pour her a cup of tea. 

Think of the fun of pouring tea into those 
cups like inverted thimbles! Polly was so 
pleased that she was simply obliged to jump 
up and down, — very gently of course, so as not 
to shake Grandmother's chair. 



66 THREE GATES 

" I like the cream and sugar put in first, my 
dear," said Grandmother. 

The spoons which belonged to the set were 
just three-quarters of an inch long, and their 
bowls held about ten grains of the granulated 
sugar with which Miss Somers filled the bowl. 

"Will this spoonful be enough?" asked 
Polly politely, 

" That will be right for me," replied Grand- 
mother, " and about four drops of cream." 

Polly took great pains with the cream and 
then she poured in the tea and gave the little 
silver cup with its spoon and silver saucer to 
Madam Thorne. Then she took another little 
leap of joy and asked Miss Somers how she 
liked her tea. 

Miss Somers preferred it without either 
cream or sugar, so that was easy. Polly 
poured some for Carola and for herself and 
emptied the sugar-bowl between the two cups. 



GRANDMOTHER THORNE 67 

Nothing could ever taste quite so good as that 
spoonful of tea from that dainty wee tea-set. 
And think of the care with which it had been 
kept through the years ! 

Polly and Carola each had a biscuit from 
Grandmother's tray, and then Miss Somers 
brought a soft cloth and a brass finger-bowl of 
hot water. 

Very carefully the girls washed and dried 
the little silver service and replaced it in the 
velvet-lined box. That box was most interest- 
ing, for the lining lay in hollows for each little 
dish to fit into so that they never rubbed each 
other. 

Miss Somers took the box to put away, and 
she looked at the children and smiled and then 
looked at the door. Carola and Polly under- 
stood. They got up at once. 

" Thank you so much for showing us the 
tea-set and letting us have tea," said Polly. 



68 THREE GATES 

" I just loved it, Grandmother Thorne," and 
she kissed Madam Thome's soft cheek. Carola 
also kissed her. 

" Come again soon, dears," said Grand- 
mother. '* I enjoy having little girls pour my 
tea." 

When she reached the door, Polly whirled 
around to make another curtsey. She felt it 
very little to do after being allowed to pour tea 
from that precious teapot. 

They went downstairs softly till they were 
sure Grandmother could not be disturbed, and 
then they ran the rest of the way to the barn to 
see Silverheels. 

Silverheels, the pony, belonged to all four 
of the Thorne children, and they loved him 
dearly, even Susan and Dutee, who had grown 
too big to ride him. But they still liked to 
harness him to the little basket cart for a drive. 

Silverheels was black, with four white feet 



GRANDMOTHER THORNE 69 

and a white star on his forehead, and he was 
used to being hugged by loving arms and to 
having his star and his velvet nose kissed. He 
was not a shaggy pony, but looked like a little 
horse, and his back was just the right height 
for Carola and Polly to rest their arms on, so 
you can see that Silverheels was not very tall. 

On this afternoon, he was enjoying himself 
in a little yard at the side of the barn and when 
Carola offered him a lump of sugar, he came 
at once, and let her take him by the forelock. 
Carola had his bridle in her hand and slipped 
it over his head and fastened it. Polly was 
tugging the saddle from the barn. 

" I'll give you a hand with that," said Dutee, 
coming up behind her. 

"Oh, please do," said Polly. "It's very 
hard for Carola and me to pull it tight." 

Dutee flopped the saddle-cloth and saddle on 
Silverheels' back, put the girth through the 



70 THREE GATES 

buckle, braced it with one foot and tugged till 
the pony grunted. 

" You're hurting him! " protested Carola. 

" I am not," said her brother. " He swells 
himself out on purpose. The saddle will slip 
unless it's tighter than this." 

Silverheels let out his breath and the saddle 
loosened at once. Dutee gave it another tug 
and took up the slack. 

" There you are," he said, fastening the 
buckle. " Don't you go outside the gates, 
either of you." 

Dutee put a hand on Silverheels' back and 
vaulted over him as though he were merely a 
fence. Then he went off to play tennis with 
Harry Emerson. 

" You ride first," said Carola. " You're 
company." 

"Let's both ride," said Polly. "We do 
sometimes." 



GRANDMOTHER THORNE 71 

" All right," Carola agreed. " Then you 
sit on the saddle." 

So Polly sat on the saddle with her feet in 
the stirrups and Carola sat behind, with her 
arms around Polly, and they rode up and down 
the drive and on the grassy turf of the orchard 
where the boys were playing tennis. 

That tennis game was going on under diffi- 
culties, for Dutee's setter puppy, known by the 
name of Beware-the-dog, was galloping up and 
do^vn the court, trying to catch the ball, and 
getting very much in the way of the players. 

Dutee did not send him away because he was 
trying to teach Beware-the-dog to bring back 
the balls that bounced off the court. He was 
also trying to train him to hunt for Mrs. 
Thome's eyeglasses when she lost them, but 
Beware-the-dog was making better progress 
with the tennis balls than with the glasses. 

There was plenty of room on the grounds of 



72 THREE GATES 

the Thorne house for the children to enjoy 
Silverheels without going on the street. That 
was strictly forbidden. Carola and Polly must 
never take him outside the gates. Both 
Mother and Mrs. Thorne said so. The motor- 
cars were too many and too dangerous for a 
wee pony and little girls. 

After riding double, they took turns alone, 
because it wasn't comfortable to let Silverheels 
trot with both on his back. When it was 
Polly's turn, she rode on the grass walks of the 
flower garden and before she could stop him, 
Silverheels bit off a big blue aster. She 
couldn't pull his head up in time. 

Carola thought this was very funny. When 
she took her turn she rode straight to the aster 
bed and let him eat another. 

" I want to see whether he likes the blue ones 
best," she said. 

Silverheels was not particular as to color. 



GRANDMOTHER THORNE 73 

He took a pink one. When they tried a third 
time, he was no longer interested in asters. 

" Now, let's take him into the house," said 
Carola. 

Silverheels had often been up the piazza 
steps, so Carola rode him to the back door, 
which Polly held open for her. Silverheels 
went into the kitchen, where Bertha, the cook, 
seemed glad to see him. She gave him a cooky 
and told him he was a " sweet little fellow." 

" We mustn't go into the other rooms," said 
Carola, ** because of the floors. But Susan is 
going to make Silverheels some boots out of 
very thick cloth, so his feet won't hurt any- 
thing. When he has those, he can visit Daddy 
in the library. I think Silverheels would like 
the open fire. If Beware-the-dog can come 
in that part of the house, Silverheels ought to 
come, too." 

They took the pony out of the kitchen, and 



74 THREE GATES 

then they met Wicky and his nurse. Wicky 
wanted to ride Silverheels, so they put him in 
the saddle and let him hold the reins while they 
walked on either side, and the nurse came be- 
hind. 

And then it was five o'clock and time for 
Polly to go home. 



CHAPTER SIX 

Tells How Polly Made Muffins 

IT was high time that Polly came home, for 
Grandma needed her. That bad little 
Kerry ran in front of her when she was 
going down the steps. Grandma tripped over 
him and twisted her ankle and her right wrist, 
not very badly, but enough so that both should 
have rest. Careless Kerry was not hurt at all. 
Grandma smiled at Polly and said she 
should feel all right if she sat still for a few 
moments before getting supper. 

Polly always set the table, and she did this 
at once, putting doilies and china and silver in 
place, as nicely as any one could do. She 
looked to see if the flowers in the table vase 
were fresh. Grandma and Mother were par- 

75 



76 THREE GATES 

ticular about this. Then she went into the 
kitchen, where Grandma sat quietly in the 
rocking-chair. Polly stood on its rocker and 
put her arms around Grandma's neck. Polly 
often hugged her family. Uncle Jack some- 
times called her a " hug-bug." 

" Does it hurt very much? " she asked. 

" No, darling," said Grandma. " Hardly 
any so long as I keep quiet." 

" I could get supper," coaxed Polly. " I 
know I could do everything if you tell me." 

" Would you like to try? " asked Grandma. 
" I was going to have baked cauliflower and 
baked sweet potatoes and tomato salad. I 
meant to make bran muffins but we'll have to 
do without those. I made the cheese sauce for 
the cauliflower before Kerry tripped me. I 
believe you could finish putting that together, 
Polly." 

Polly was sure she could do everything. First 



HOW POLLY MADE MUFFINS 77 

she put on a gay little pink rubber apron which 
just fitted her. Polly was very proud of that 
apron. She washed the sweet potatoes and 
put them into the oven and then she lighted the 
pilot-light of the stove and turned on the burn- 
ers, one after the other. She hoped the gas 
would not pop. 

This time it didn't, but caught cheerfully 
and promptly as a well-mannered gas-stove 
should always do. 

Then she gave Grandma another hug. 
" Couldn't I make the muffins? " she begged. 

Grandma hesitated a second. 

" Uncle Jack loves bran muffins," said Polly. 

That settled the matter, as Polly knew it 
would. 

" You could try," said Grandma, and she 
told Polly just how to make the muffins. 
Polly brought out the tins and put them on 
the stove to warm, and then buttered them 



78 THREE GATES 

with the little pastry brush. Under Grandma's 
direction she measured the flour and sugar and 
all the other things that go into muffins. She 
broke an egg into a cup and beat it with the 
littlest beater and then she mixed everything 
together and put the batter into the tins and 
tucked them into the oven beside the potatoes. 

Then she danced about the kitchen. " What 
next? " she asked Grandma with shining eyes. 
" I'm sorry Kerry hurt you, but cooking is 
such fun." 

" You're a great help to me, Polly," said 
Grandma and she said that the next thing was 
to make the tomato salad. 

Polly brought the lettuce and the sliced to- 
matoes from the refrigerator, and the salad 
plates from the dining-room. She placed the 
lettuce on the green glass plates and shook up 
the bottle of French dressing and poured some 
over the leaves of lettuce. She arranged the 



HOW POLLY MADE MUFFINS 79 

slices of tomato on their green beds and put 
dabs of mayonnaise over them. She shook red 
paprika over the yellow dressing. 

" That's a very tempting salad," said 
Grandma. "Now the cauMower comes 
next." 

Polly skipped into the pantry for a glass 
baking-dish. She tipped into it the cauli- 
flower which had been cooked earlier in the 
day. She went to the stove for the cheese 
sauce. This was keeping hot in a double- 
boiler. 

" Be careful not to burn yourself," said 
Grandma anxiously. 

Polly was very careful indeed. This was 
the smaller of the two double-boilers, the one 
Mother called the Lamb. The larger white 
boiler was the Sheep. 

The Lamb behaved like its name and the 
nice-smelling smooth white sauce went over the 



80 THREE GATES 

crown of the cauliflower and filled the corners 
of the dish. Grandma told her to sprinkle 
bread crumbs quite thickly over the whole. 

Another skip into the pantry for the bread 
crumbs. Polly found them in a glass jar and 
shook them around with a spoon. Then 
Grandma got up for the first time. The color 
was coming back to her face and she did not 
limp so much. 

" I'll put it in the oven," she said. " I'm 
afraid you will burn yourself doing that." 

The oven did seem rather full with the glass 
dish and the mufiin-tins and all the potatoes, 
and it was also very hot. Polly was relieved 
that Grandma felt like managing that part. 

" What is there for dessert? " she asked. 

" Baked apples and cream," said Grandma. 
" They are ready to go on the sideboard. And 
a plate of cookies, Polly. My! what a help 
you are." 



HOW POLLY MADE MUFFINS 81 

" But I love to help," said Polly, hurrying 
to put the dessert on the sideboard. " What 
next?" 

" It isn't quite time to put on the butter- 
balls or fill the glasses with water. Come and 
sit on the arm of my chair and tell me what 
you did at Carola's house." 

Polly had been too interested in cooking to 
think about anything except what she was do- 
ing. She sat on the arm of the chair and told 
Grandma about pouring tea from the darling 
pot and about riding Silverheels. 

" It's nice for Carola to have a pony," she 
ended. 

" Yes, it is," agreed Grandma a little wist- 
fully. " Do you wish you had one? " 

" We haven't any good place to keep it," said 
Polly contentedly. " I have Mittens and 
Kerry, and Carola lets me ride Silverheels. 
Carola has only one thing I haven't that I'd 



82 THREE GATES 

really like, Grandma, and that's Wicky. I 
would like to have a little brother." 

" Indeed, I wish you had one," said 
Grandma. 

When Mother and Uncle Jack came, after 
they were sure Grandma wasn't much hurt, 
they were certainly astonished to know that 
Polly mixed those muffins. Grandma said 
they were every bit as good as hers and Uncle 
Jack said he didn't believe the President of the 
United States could make better ones. 

This puzzled Polly for a moment. " You 
mean the Mrs. President? " she asked. 

Polly's whole family laughed and Uncle 
Jack reached over to pinch her cheek. 

" I mean the President and his wife and his 
children and his forefathers even to the fourth 
generation," he said solemnly. 

Polly looked relieved. Uncle Jack was only 
joking. When it came time for dessert, he an- 



HOW POLLY MADE MUFFINS 83 

nounced that he was going to " buttle," and he 
put on Polly's pink apron which just about 
covered his chest. And when he gave Polly 
her baked apple it wore a fat white marsh- 
mallow for a hat. 

After supper, neither Grandma nor Polly 
was permitted to help. Grandma sat in the 
kitchen rocker, and Polly sat on her lap. 
Mother washed the dishes and Uncle Jack 
wiped them, still wearing the pink apron. 
And they laughed so much that they forgot to 
be careful, and Uncle Jack broke a saucer. 

Grandma said she was not surprised. 

Then it was Polly's bedtime and she and 
Mother went upstairs. Polly didn't need any 
help about going to bed, but ever since Father 
hadn't come back from that South American 
river. Mother and Polly had felt like doing a 
great deal for each other. 

While she was undressing, Polly told Mother 



84 THREE GATES 

about the pleasant time she had with Carola 
and how beautiful Grandmother Thorne 
looked and about the drawing-lesson and what 
the teacher said. 

Mother was pleased. She asked what flower 
they drew and from which side the light fell 
upon it, and what part Polly did first. She 
was interested in everything about the lesson. 

Then Polly asked if there would be a picnic 
the next day, which was Saturday. 

" I don't believe so," said Mother. " If it 
is pleasant, a man is coming to help Uncle Jack 
pick the apples and put them in the cellar. 
And I want to dig the gladiolus bulbs from the 
garden and tidy the flower-beds." 

" I'll help dig the bulbs," said Polly. 

" Of course you will," Mother answered. 
" I wouldn't think of doing it without you." 



CHAPTER SEVEN 

Tells about the Blue John 

GREEN apples against a blue sky; red 
ones sparkling on a background of 
pretty white clouds ; ladders leaning on 
big branches; Mittens scrambling up one tree 
and down, only to dash up another, with Kerry 
wildly barking beside him — Polly thought the 
orchard a pleasant place that afternoon. 
Uncle Jack and Mr. Gibson were rapidly fill- 
ing baskets to be emptied into barrels waiting 
in the cellar. 

Mother looked at those barrels and agreed 
with Polly that they could not possibly eat all 
the apples. 

" We shall have plenty if we sell six barrels," 

she said to Grandma. 

85 



86 THREE GATES 

" It's a good crop," Grandma assented. 
" Polly will be glad to have no more windfalls 
to look after." 

Polly hadn't thought much about that part 
of the harvesting. No more apples to pick up 
meant no more nickels for the little brown dog 
to take into the bank. A good many had gone 
in since the apples first began to fall. Polly 
would have money for her Christmas shopping. 

Grandma's wrist and ankle were comfort- 
able this afternoon, but Mother had done most 
of the extra Saturday work. Now she and 
Polly came out to dig the gladiolus bulbs. 

All through July and August there had been 
spikes of beautiful flowers. Some were white 
with dark throats, some were clear yellow, 
some were pink, and some, and Polly liked 
these best, were the color of flame. 

Mother showed her how to put a trowel into 
the earth near the bulb but not touching it. 



THE BLUE JOHN 87 

A gentle pressure on the trowel loosened the 
bulb in the ground so that it came out easily 
when lifted by its green handle. When Polly 
pulled up the first one she sat back quite as- 
tonished. 

" Look, Mother! " she exclaimed. " See all 
the baby bulbs!" 

" Those are the bulblets," said Mother. 
" Don't shake them off, darling. We will let 
them dry and another year we will plant all 
the baby bulbs by themselves." 

"Will they have flowers?" asked Polly. 
How could a spike of blossoms come out of 
anything so wee? 

" Not next summer, but they will grow into 
much larger bulbs and the flowers will come 
the simimer after next." 

" I shall be nearly ten years old, then," said 
Polly solemnly. Two summers seemed a very 
long time to wait for flowers. 



88 THREE GATES 

When the bulbs were all out of the ground, 
Mother took the garden shears and cut off the 
leaves five or six inches from each bulb. Then 
Polly laid them in a long row on the kitchen 
porch to dry. It was not good for the bulbs 
to get wet after they were dug. 

Mother began to cut dead flower-stalks from 
the garden. Polly went to see how the apple- 
pickers were getting on. She came back wink- 
ing her eyes, for falling apples hurt when they 
hit a little girl's head. 

"Kerry, stop that!" exclaimed Mother. 
" Oh, Polly, get him out of Grandma's 
pansies." 

Polly ran to pull Kerry away by his collar. 
" You are a bad dog," she told him. " See 
what a hole you've made. First you tumbled 
Grandma down the steps, and now you've dug 
up her pansies. Naughty Kerry! " 

Kerry sat down and put his head on one 



THE BLUE JOHN 89 

side, cocking his ears and looking at her so 
wisely that Polly laughed. 

" You have made me a great deal of work," 
she said. " I shall have to put back all this 
dirt. No, you needn't try to help. You help 
the wrong way." 

The hole was really deep, for Mother had 
not noticed when Kerry began to dig. Polly 
took the trowel and began to push back the 
earth. Suddenly the trowel struck something 
that clinked. Polly supposed it was a stone 
but when she looked closer she saw it was not 
an ordinary garden kind of stone at all. It 
was flat and shaped like a pear and smooth to 
her touch. In the smaller end was fastened 
a loop of metal. 

"Mother, what's this?" called Polly, drop- 
ping the trowel and running over to her 
mother. 

Mrs. Winsor took the stone and looked at it 



90 THREE GATES 

closely. " Well, of all things ! " she exclaimed. 
" Where did this come from? " 

" Kerry dug it out of the pansy bed." 

" I believe it is Grandma's blue John she 
lost so long ago," said Mother. 

*' Her what? " asked Polly, who had never 
heard this name. 

" Take it to Grandma and she'll tell you. 
It is something Grandpa gave her when they 
were first married. When I was a little girl, 
I remember her losing it and how badly she 
felt. To think that Kerry has dug it up after 
all these years ! " 

Grandma was sitting in a porch-chair which 
Uncle Jack had brought out for her. It was 
a long kind of chair with a rest for her ankle. 

" Look! " said Polly as she ran up. " See, 
Grandma, what Kerry dug up for you. 
Mother thinks it is yours." 

Grandma sat up straight when she saw what 



THE BLUE JOHN 91 

Polly brought. "Why, Polly Winsor!" she 
exclaimed, taking it in her hand. " If it isn't 
the blue John your Grandpa bought me when 
we went to England on our wedding-trip! " 

Mother had wiped off most of the dirt on 
the grass and Grandma now dusted the stone 
with her handkerchief. Polly saw that it was 
a pendant meant to wear on a chain. The 
stone was a pretty grayish color with distinct 
stripes of bluish-purple. 

" What a funny name! " she said. " Why 
is it a blue John, Grandma? What does it 
mean? " 

" It came from a mine in central England 
called the Blue John mine. This stone is fluor- 
spar and it is found in quantities close to lead, 
the mineral they use in making water-pipes." 

Yes, Polly knew. In the kitchen of Three 
Gates the cold water came through a dull- 
colored lead pipe, while the hot water ran from 



92 THREE GATES 

one of shining brass. But she hadn't known 
that lead was dug from the earth. 

" The lead is used for other things than 
pipes," explained Grandma, " and so is the 
fluor-spar used for other things than pen- 
dants. But at this place, the prettiest fluor-spar 
came from the Blue John mine and it was often 
made into jewelry and vases and ornaments. 
I remember that the mine had thirteen shafts 
and that the fluor-spar taken from each shaft 
was a different stripe. Look, Polly." 

Grandma held the blue John so it was be- 
tween the sun and Polly. The stripes in the 
stone looked dark, grayish-brown on a lighter 
background. Then she held it so that the 
sunlight fell from behind Polly, and the back- 
ground stayed the same, but the stripes 
changed to a blue-purple. 

" Did you go down in the mine? " asked 
Polly. 



THE BLUE JOHN 93 

" Not in the Blue John. We went into one 
of the lead mines. That especial mine was no 
longer worked because an underground river 
had flooded the shaft. A guide took Grandpa 
and me down a long stair, over a hundred steps, 
right down into the earth. We came to a plat- 
form beside which a boat was floating on some 
inky-black water. We got into the boat and 
the guide told us to be careful not to put our 
fingers over the edge because the passage where 
we were going was just wide enough for the 
boat." 

" Was it dark? " asked Polly, with her gray 
eyes big and wide. 

" Very dark," said Grandma. " As we 
moved along, the guide stuck lighted candles 
on ledges in the sides of the passage. We 
could see them reflected in the black water and 
we could see the veins of lead in the rock walls 
of the tunnel." 



94 THREE GATES 

" I don't think I should have liked it," said 
Polly. " I don't believe I want to go on that 
kind of a river." 

" I was glad Grandpa was with me, for it 
was strange and rather frightening," Grandma 
admitted. " As the guide pushed the boat 
along, we could hear a roaring sound which 
grew louder and louder. Finally the under- 
ground river broadened and became a lake in 
a cave. The roof was far above our heads, all 
black and glistening, and the roaring was very 
loud. A big chain stretched across from one 
wall of the cavern to the other, to keep the boat 
from going any farther. And the roar was 
the noise the river made pouring down the 
shaft of the old mine." 

" If the chain hadn't been there, would the 
boat have gone down the hole with you and 
Grandpa? " 

" Probably," said Grandma. " I thought of 



TEE BLUE JOHN 95 

that, Polly, and I was glad the chain was there 
and I hoped it would not break." 

" And did it? " asked Polly anxiously. 

'^ No," said Grandma. " It was a strong 
chain. But I was pleased when we were safe 
above ground. Grandpa bought me the blue 
John for a remembrance. I must have lost it 
at least fifteen years ago. I was gardening at 
the time, and though I looked and looked, I 
couldn't find it. To think that little Kerry 
dug it out of the pansy bed ! " 

" He did it because he was sorry he made 
you fall yesterday," said Polly. " Didn't you, 
Kerry?" 

Kerry whined and laid his head on 
Grandma's knee. Then he sat down before 
her and rapidly offered her first one front paw 
and then the other, as though to tell her he 
found the blue John on purpose to make up for 
hurting her. 



CHAPTER EIGHT 

Tells about the Rainy-Day Drawer 

MY, how hard it rained ! Showers came 
down that morning, not at all like 
gentle sprinklings from kindly-feel- 
ing clouds, but in solid sheets of water. Polly, 
with her nose pressed against the pane of the 
sitting-room window, really couldn't see the 
houses across the street, only a white mist of 
rain. 

Grandma was troubled because it was so wet 
for Mother and Uncle Jack to start for town. 
They didn't mind at all. 

" What is Justin for? " asked Uncle Jack, 
and he got out the car. He would park it by 
the station and there it would stay, ready to 
bring them home at night. 

96 



THE BAINTDAY DRAWER 97 

" Suppose somebody steals it," said 
Grandma. " That isn't a very safe place to 
leave a car." 

" He will be welcome," replied Uncle Jack. 
" Nobody in his senses would steal Just-tin. 
Who does, must indeed be hard up." 

Mother put on her rubbers and her slicker. 
She kissed Polly and Grandma and skipped 
into Justin. Uncle Jack switched on the 
lights and Polly saw the little red one at the 
back glowing for an instant after the car itself 
vanished into the storm. 

"Do you think there will be school, 
Grandma? " she asked. 

"No," said Grandma, "I don't. I think 
the bell will ring, but whether it does or not, 
Polly, I don't want you to go out in weather 
like this." 

"I don't want to be absent," said Polly. 
" Our room has the banner this week for the 



98 THREE GATES 

best record about being late or absent. Can't 
I go if the bell doesn't ring? " 

" We'll see how hard it rains," said 
Grandma. 

Polly looked anxiously at the clock. A 
signal might sound at eight. That meant no 
school for all grades below the high school. 
Or it might ring at half-past eight, which 
meant that everybody was expected to come 
except the little children of the first three 
grades. The clock hands stood at a quarter 
to eight. 

Polly put on her pink apron and cleared the 
table for Grandma. The rain beat against the 
window by the breakfast-nook, and streams ran 
down the glass and the screen. Grandma 
opened the door to the cellar stairs. 

"Oh, Polly, quick! Shut the door to the 
dining-room. Mittens has a mouse ! " 

Polly caught one glimpse of Mittens, charg- 



THE RAINY-DAY DRAWER 99 

ing up the cellar stairs, his ears laid straight 
back, and a long gray tail dangling from one 
corner of his mouth. She shut the door rapidly, 
and shut herself on the dining-room side. Polly 
loved Mittens and she knew mice were destruc- 
tive, but all the same she didn't like her kitty 
to catch them. 

Grandma was praising Mittens and coaxing 
him into the shed. Polly stayed where she was 
until she heard the shed door click. Then she 
went back into the kitchen. 

" I suppose it is good of Mittens to catch 
mice, but I wish he would not be so disagree- 
able about their tails," she said to Grandma. 

" To see one dripping from the corner of 
Mittens' mouth does give me a queer feeling," 
Grandma admitted. 

" Perhaps the tail would choke him if it got 
down his throat," said Polly thoughtfully. 
" Oh, Grandma, there's the no-school signal! " 



100 THREE GATES 

Sure enough, close upon the stroke of eight 
by the grandfather clock in the front hall, 
came the sound of the fire-alarm. Polly and 
Grandma both counted it. Three-three-three. 
No school for anybody but the big boys and 
girls of the high school. 

" Goody! " sang Polly. " No school! No 
school! " and she danced about the kitchen and 
gave Grandma a hug. 

" Why, I thought you liked to go to school! " 
laughed Grandma. 

" I do," Polly admitted, '' but I like stormy 
days at home. It's been pleasant for a long 
time now and I haven't had a chance to play 
with the rainy-day drawer. I think it's nice 
to have special things for rainy days, don't you. 
Grandma? " 

Grandma agreed. She said she had been 
saving things to do the next time it rained. 

After she had wiped and put away the 



TEE RAINY-DAY DRAWER 101 

pretty yellow breakfast dishes, Polly lingered 
a little to see if Grandma's rainy-day plans 
promised any interest. She didn't think they 
did. It looked as though Grandma meant 
only to clean the kitchen closet. 

Polly called Kerry in from the porch, and 
Mittens, now without the mouse-tail, from the 
shed, and they all went into the sitting-room. 

On one side stood a tall old-fashioned book- 
case, and its base held a long drawer. This 
was Polly's rainy-day drawer, and she never 
played with its contents except during a storm. 

Polly sat down flat on the floor before the 
bookcase. Kerry stood beside her, wagging 
his short tail. Kerry hoped that something of 
interest and value to a little dog would emerge 
from that drawer. Mittens sat on the rug, 
industriously washing his face, a face that wore 
a smug and virtuous expression, for Mittens 
was very well pleased with himself. 



102 THREE GATES 

Polly opened the drawer and considered 
what plaything to choose. 

There was a box of plastic clay. Polly 
looked at it and then at Mittens. The last 
time she used that clay, she tried to mould a 
cat. Uncle Jack said it looked like one which 
had misspent all its nine lives. 

There was a box of water-color paints. 
Polly decided that she did not care to paint. 

There was a box of paper dolls, some colored 
paper, and a pair of blunt-pointed scissors. 
Polly looked into this box and closed it again. 
Paper dolls were much more fun when one had 
a playmate. 

Kerry saw something he wanted and he 
promptly took it. Polly let him, for it was a 
piece of red rubber shaped like a bone. One 
of Uncle Jack's friends gave it to Kerry. 
Polly didn't know how it got into her rainy- 
day drawer, but of course Kerry had a right 




Kerry saw something he wanted. Page 102. 



THE BAINY-DAY DRAWER 103 

to his own rubber bone. He lay down at once, 
chewing it contentedly. 

For three minutes longer, Polly sat gazing 
into the drawer and then she decided what to 
play. From the farther corner she took a box 
and a little roll of canvas and sticks. 

The box contained fifteen little china dogs 
and five tiny china rabbits. There were three 
families of dogs; Mrs. Spitz and the four Spitz 
puppies; Mrs. Pug and the four Pug puppies; 
Mrs. Mastiff and the four Mastiff puppies. 
Mrs. Spitz and her family were white and 
shaggy with plumy tails and blue eyes and 
stand-up ears; the Pugs were yellowish-tan 
with black markings and tightly curled tails; 
the Mastiff family were darker brown and 
stout with straight tails and loppy ears. Mrs. 
Bun and her family were ordinary white rab- 
bits with pink eyes. 

Once Polly had seen a live spitz dog, but 



104 THREE GATES 

never a pug nor a mastiff. Grandma said she 
didn't believe there were pug dogs now, but at 
the time she married Grandpa they were 
fashionable for pets. 

All these china animals had belonged to 
Grandma when she was a little girl, and they 
used to stand on the sitting-room mantel in 
front of the clock. Grandma told Polly how 
long it took her to dust that mantel when so 
many little figures had to be moved and ar- 
ranged again. Once there had been a fox 
family as well, and one of deer, but none were 
left. 

Two of the Buns were invalids with broken 
ears and paws, and one spitz puppy had lost 
a leg. 

Polly took all the little animals from their 
box and set them on the floor. "You have 
been here long enough," she said. " Now, you 
are going on a journey." 



THE BAINT-DAY DRAWER 105 

To the front of the pasteboard box cover 
were fastened five strings with looped ends. 
To the cover Polly harnessed the entire Mastiff 
family, as the Eskimos harness their dogs. 

" Your family ought to pull the sledge be- 
cause you look more like the Arctic dogs," she 
said to Mrs. Spitz, " but Grandma says Mrs. 
Mastiff is bigger and stronger, so she and her 
puppies must do it. But only one family be- 
sides the Buns can ride. You and the Pugs 
must take turns walking." 

Mrs. Spitz had nothing to say. She and her 
family took their places beside the sledge. 

The road lay along the edge of the rug, and 
a certain figure repeated in the border at 
regular intervals, marked a progress of five 
miles. To travel that distance took a con- 
siderable number of actual minutes, because the 
dogs in leash had to be drawn gently so as not 
to upset them or their passengers. Then the 



106 THREE GATE8 

Spitz family were extremely slow walkers, only 
one dog moving at a time. At the half-way 
point, Mrs. Pug and her puppies must take 
their turn walking. Considerable planning 
was needed. 

Polly gave a sigh of relief when the caravan 
finally reached the five-mile spot. " It is even- 
ing," she said, " and time to camp. But we 
have forgotten the tent! " 

Back at the starting-point lay the tent and 
poles ! 

" Mrs. Spitz, you must go back for it," an- 
nounced Polly. " You are bigger than Mrs. 
Pug. Mrs. Bun is too sick to walk so far, and 
Mrs. Mastiff has pulled the sledge all the way. 
She is tired." 

Mrs. Spitz went back willingly and silently 
and returned with the tent. Polly set it up, a 
cone around a central pole, with a flap for a 
door. First, the invalid Buns were tucked 



THE RAINT-DAY DRAWER 107 

into bed, and then, each family of dogs. 

" Now, it is black night," said Polly. 
" There is no moon and there are no stars. 
Bats are flitting. Everybody is asleep. It is 
growing very late. It is midnight. Now it 
is getting early. It is earlier still. A rooster 
is crowing. The clouds are pink. The sun is 
rising. Mrs. Pug is awake." 

Being awake, Mrs. Pug had to get up at 
once and was directed to cook breakfast for 
the entire camp. In the excitement over the 
forgotten tent, it seemed that nobody thought 
to build a camp-fire nor to prepare supper. 
All were extremely hungry. 

While Mrs. Pug was getting breakfast, Mrs. 
Spitz set the table with round bits of paper, 
the size of a dime, for plates. Table and plates 
apparently dropped from the sky for the use 
of the travelers, for they certainly hadn't ar- 
rived with the camp baggage. 



108 THREE GATES 

After breakfast the animal caravan struck 
its camp for another day's march. During the 
morning they passed a large lake where every- 
body, even the invalid Buns, went bathing. 
That afternoon a terrible misfortune overtook 
them. 

They were hardly a mile on their way from 
the lake when, without a second's warning, a 
hostile band of Indians swept down upon them, 
overturning the entire Spitz family, shaking 
the Buns from the sledge, and departing with 
Mrs. Pug a shrieking captive. 

Polly jumped up. " Kerry, you bad, bad 
dog! Don't bite her in two. Chew your bone 
and give Mrs. Pug to me! Let me have her 
this instant!" 

Then she looked at the window. The rain 
had stopped, the sun was showing through the 
clouds and there was a wee bit of blue sky. 

That afternoon there would be school. 



CHAPTER NINE 

Tells about the Doll-House 

ON the third floor of Polly's home was 
the room which she thought the most 
interesting one in the house. She 
liked it better than the clean sunny kitchen 
with the pleasant breakfast-nook; better even 
than the sitting-room with its cheery open fire 
and shabby rugs and cases of books and its 
dark old furniture reflecting pools of light. 

Half the attic room belonged to Mother and 
half to Uncle Jack. Just about on the division 
line stood a big stove, for the steam heat didn't 
come up to warm the attic. This stove was 
not at all pretty, being tall and round, but it 
gave out a great deal of heat, so that it did its 

full duty in the world. Near the stove were 

109 



110 THREE GATES 

some old chairs for Grandma or for Polly or 
for anybody who might come up to the work- 
room. 

The northern half of the attic belonged to 
Uncle Jack, and before the windows on his side 
stood two long narrow tables made of planks 
resting on high trestles. The top of one was 
covered with heavy thick cardboard so that it 
was perfectly level and smooth. On this, 
Uncle Jack spread lengths of thin drawing- 
paper, fastened down by thumb-tacks. The 
paper came in big rolls. It was called " archi- 
tects' paper," and crackled when it was un- 
rolled. 

There was a high stool on which Uncle Jack 
sometimes sat, but usually he preferred to 
stand while drawing, and he kept his tools 
spread out on the second table behind him. 
These tools were interesting. There were dif- 
ferent kinds of rulers, and compasses to draw 



THE DOLL-HOUSE 111 

circles, and queer-shaped transparent things 
that helped one make any kind of an angle or 
curved line. Sometimes Uncle Jack let Polly 
take the curved guide and one of his odd, flat 
pencils and draw figures on a piece of the 
crackly paper. Polly once tried to count the 
pencils and pieces of chalk on Uncle Jack's 
table, but when she got up to thirty-seven, she 
stopped. Screwed to the window frame was 
a pencil-sharpener in which Polly put points 
on the round pencils. Uncle Jack did the flat 
ones with his knife. 

There was a case with pigeonholes and a 
great many rolled blue-prints sticking out. 
Pinned all around on the walls were sketches 
of doorways, and charcoal drawings, and even 
illustrations torn from magazines. 

Mother's things were over by the south 
windows, and Polly thought them even more 
interesting than Uncle Jack's. Grandma said 



112 THREE GATES 

they were certainly more messy. Mother had 
a table and a bench and an old desk stuffed 
full of papers, and a great many pots of paint 
and dye and turpentine sitting on rough 
shelves. Her part of the attic held a sink with 
running water and she had more tools than 
Uncle Jack. Some she used for cutting things 
out of brass and copper, and some she used for 
making rings and jewelry, and others when 
she drew designs for lamp-shades or things 
made from cloth. Mother sometimes borrowed 
Uncle Jack's guides for curves and angles. 
There was also a gas-plate so that she could 
heat her dyes. 

Altogether, Polly thought the workroom a 
most interesting place, and so it was for any- 
body who likes to do things with her fingers. 
Polly knew that she must not touch anything 
without asking first, because if she did, she 
might spoil some pretty thing that was not 



THE DOLL-HOUSE 113 

finished. Usually, she was very careful about 
obeying. 

Not long after the day there was no school, 
Carola came home with Polly to stay till five. 
That week. Jack Frost had visited Longfield 
and behaved so badly that the trees blushed to 
see his antics. All the way up Spring Street 
the children walked in the fallen red and 
yellow leaves, enjoying their rustle. When 
they passed the Emerson house, Harry was 
raking more leaves on the fire he had kindled 
in the gutter. The smoky smell made one 
think of sunsets and frosty nights. 

Before Polly's house stood two maple-trees. 
Their names were Robin Hood and Will 
Scarlet. To his topmost twig Will was gor- 
geous in flaming red, but Robin Hood stood 
like his namesake, in Lincoln green. 

" He always stays green," Polly told Carola. 
" Sometimes his leaves have little bits of red 



114 THREE GATES 

spots or red edges, but that's all. Uncle Jack 
says Will Scarlet puts out the sunrise." 

For a while, the little girls played with 
Kerry in the orchard and then they went into 
the house. It was growing chilly outside. 

Grandma was glad to see Carola. She gave 
them each a cooky, and then they went into the 
sitting-room to play with Polly's doll-house. 

Uncle Jack had given it to her last 
Christmas. He and Mother had made every 
inch of it, and outside, it was Three Gates in 
miniature, painted white, and with Robin 
Hood in green and Will Scarlet in royal red 
before it. The fence had three gates, and one 
was shut and one half -open and the other wide- 
open, just as the real ones usually stood. 

Inside, it wasn't the same, but Polly didn't 
mind. And if the back of any house were 
swung open, it would look different. There 
were a kitchen and a dining-room and a sitting- 



THE DOLL-HOUSE 115 

room, and upstairs were three bedrooms and a 
bathroom. 

The four-poster beds were made from 
match-boxes and the tiny bureaus and chairs 
and tables from pasteboard and thin wood. 
One bedroom set was painted yellow, one pink, 
and the other blue. 

The dining-room was especially attractive 
for all its furniture was cut from sheet tin, bent 
into shape and painted a lovely shade of green^ 
The wee electric-light fixtures were made of 
fine wire coated with green sealing-wax and 
had glass beads for shades. 

In the kitchen was a shiny black stove which 
Mother had also cut from tin. Here, the walls 
were painted yellow and the chairs were a 
deeper yellow, trimmed with black. On the 
shelves were little yellow and white jars and 
crocks. 

Some of the house-fittings were made of 



116 THREE GATES 

modeling clay, and some of putty, and some of 
sealing-wax. Curtains of silk to match the 
different rooms draped the downstairs windows 
and white muslin the upstairs ones. Rugs of 
proper sizes and materials covered the var- 
nished floors, washable ones for bedrooms and 
bathroom, and nicer ones for the dining-room 
and living-room. 

Mother and Uncle Jack had almost more 
fun making and furnishing that doll-house 
than Polly had in playing with it. It cost 
hardly anything except the love and time put 
into it, but it was so pretty and artistic that it 
interested even the grown-up people who saw 

it. 

All the furniture fitted dolls an inch high, 
and far too many dolls of this size lived in 
Polly's playhouse. When such a number of 
real people crowd into one house, the Board of 
Health says some of them must move out. 



THE DOLL-HOUSE 117 

Polly and Carola took out of the house the 
twenty-three dolls who lived in it. You can 
see how shockingly they were crowded when 
only six could go properly to bed. 

First they changed the dresses of all the 
(dolls, which was easy, for all the frocks were 
cut alike, a little circle of cloth with holes for 
head and arms. Bits of embroidery silk served 
as sashes. Only ladies lived in Polly's house, 
and they were quite up-to-date and didn't wear 
many undergarments. It was not much of a 
tax to keep them clothed. 

After the dolls were dressed, they had a 
party. 

" They can't all eat at once," said Polly. 
" Only six can sit at the table." 

" This is a different kind of party," said 
Carola, " not a sitting-down party but one like 
Mother gave last week. A standing-up kind, 
with tea and cakes and candy on the table, and 



118 THREE GATES 

everybody walking around and talking and 
holding their cups." 

" Oh, yes," said Polly. " Grandma went to 
that. Did you? " 

" No," said Carola. " I had some of the 
cakes afterwards. I stayed out with Wicky 
and Nanna. Susan was in it. She showed 
people where to put their wraps and then 
helped pass the tea. She said it was deadly 
dull." 

" Grandma had a nice time," said Polly. 
*' Susan is funny." 

" Dutee says she's a poor fish," observed 
Carola cheerfully. " So Susan said he was a 
dumb-bell, and Mother said not to talk any 
more. So they didn't — not till she left the 
room. See, these are the visiting ladies, and 
they must go and speak to the one who is giv- 
ing the party. She's this one in pink silk. 
And two must sit at the table to pour the tea 



THE DOLL-HOUSE 119 

and the coffee. This can be Susan and tell 
them to take their wraps upstairs." 

The ladies drank many cups of tea, so the 
party was a success. And then the little girls 
tired of playing. 

"Is your mother making anything pretty? " 
asked Carola. 

" Yes," said Polly, " a chiif on scarf for Aunt 
Barbara's birthday. She was putting wax on 
it last night." 

" Wax on a scarf? Did she spoil it? " asked 
Carola. 

" She meant to put it on. Come up to the 
workroom and I'll show you." 

They left the doll-house and ran up to the 
attic. On a line stretched between two nails 
hung a white chiffon scarf, and, as Polly 
said, it was stiff with paraffin wax. Only a 
border three inches wide was still soft and 
filmy. 



120 THREE GATES 

" I don't think it will be pretty," said Carola 
doubtfully. 

" Yes, it will," declared Polly confidently. 
" She made one for Grandma just this way, 
and when it was all stiff with wax. Mother kept 
pinching it up with her fingers and breaking 
the wax all over the scarf. Uncle Jack asked 
her if she 'spected it to look like anything at 
all. And Mother said she did. And when she 
had cracked it all up she dipped it in a dye-pot 
and then she hung it up to dry again. When 
it was dry she ironed it and ironed it between 
pieces of paper. She used 'most all the brown 
paper in the house, because newspaper 
wouldn't do. And when she stopped, the wax 
was all gone, and the scarf was soft and white 
again with silver cobwebs all over it. Grandma 
wore it to your mother's tea." 

" Susan saw it," said Carola. " She said she 
wished she had a pink one like it." 



THE DOLL-HOUSE 121 

" This one is to be pink," said Polly. " Aunt 
Barbara likes pink things best." 

Carola wandered over to Uncle Jack's table. 
A long strip of paper was pinned down upon 
it, with an outline showing the floor plan of a 
house. This did not interest the children. 
They returned to Mrs. Winsor's side of the 
room. 

" What is this? " asked Carola peeping into 
a white crockery dish on the far side of the 
table. In it lay a flat piece of metal, heavily 
coated with a brownish stuff. Where the 
metal wasn't brown it was green in a sort of 
design. The dish looked partly full of water. 

" I don't know," said Polly. " I didn't see 
that before." 

Polly knew she ought not to touch anything 
in the workroom, but what harm could she do 
by giving that bit of metal a gentle poke with 
her finger? Surely, that wasn't meddling. 



122 THREE GATES 

Polly poked her finger into the dish and 
jerked it out again in almost the same motion. 
She wiped the finger on the front of her dress, 
the pretty yellow gingham she liked so much. 
And where she touched the dress, the yellow 
cloth turned very dark. The tip of her finger 
also turned dark and began to feel queer. 
Polly looked at the queer stain on her dress and 
she looked at Carola and at her finger and be- 
gan to cry. Then she ran to find Grandma. 

Carola didn't know what had happened, but 
she, too, was frightened. She ran after Polly. 

A little later, Polly, her finger bandaged and 
the smart subsiding, sat on Grandma's lap and 
told her just what she did in the workroom. 
It was ^ve o'clock, and Carola, happier since 
she knew that Polly wasn't much hurt, had 
gone home. 

" I didn't mean to meddle," ended Polly. 
" I thought it was water in that dish." 



THE DOLL-HOUSE 123 

" You should never touch anything at all on 
Mother's table. Suppose you had upset that 
dish! Both you and Carola might have been 
burned by the acid in it. It was strong enough 
to eat a pattern into the metal Mother left in 
it. That is why she covered with varnish the 
part she did not want etched." 

" I'll never, never touch anything again," 
promised Polly. 

** I don't think you will," said Grandma. 
"And though I'm sorry you spoiled your 
pretty dress, your finger would burn much 
worse if you hadn't wiped it off so quickly. 
I'm so thankful you didn't put it in your mouth 
or eyes, Polly." 

" Must we tell Mother? " Polly asked, her 
head on Grandma's shoulder and her arms 
around her neck. 

" I think we had better tell her," said 
Grandma gently. 



CHAPTER TEN 

Tells How Fair Rosamond Went Away 

POLLY'S finger didn't stay sore very- 
long, but the yellow stain remained for 
some time. She told Mother all about 
her meddling. Mother was sorry that Polly 
forgot about touching things but glad that 
nothing worse happened. She thought Polly 
would surely remember not to interfere again. 
She also thought she had been careless herself 
in leaving so dangerous an acid sitting around 
like so much harmless water. 

Mother put a pocket over the stain on Polly's 
dress. It was a most interesting pocket, in the 
shape of a rabbit's head with long ears. All 
the children thought it the nicest pocket ever 
seen, and Polly liked the dress even better than 
before the accident. 

124 



FAIR ROSAMOND 125 

Besides the little dolls which lived in the 
playhouse, Polly had three other children. 
One was a small boy doll named Jacob; one 
was a baby in long clothes, called Moses; and 
the third was Fair Rosamond. 

Fair Rosamond was Polly's favorite child. 
Her face was like that of a real little girl and 
she could not be broken, which was a great com- 
fort to her mother. Doll-children have such 
terrible falls that it is a wonder any of them 
live till their mothers grow up. ' 

Polly loved Fair Rosamond dearly. She 
was put to sleep every night in her little bed 
close beside Polly's own. That doll's bed had 
belonged to Mother when she was a little girl. 
It had pillows with cases, and real sheets and 
blankets, and a bedspread which Grandma 
crocheted. 

One afternoon in October, Carola was again 
at Polly's house, and a third little girl named 



126 THREE GATES 

Dotty Appleton was playing with them. 
Carola brought her doll to visit Fair Rosamond 
and Dotty brought hers. 

They planned to play out of doors for a time 
and then go into the house. Fair Rosamond 
and her two guests, whose names were 
Calamity Jane and Elinor, sat in a row on a 
comfortable seat of dried leaves and watched 
their mothers play hide-and-seek. Kerry was 
playing, too, after his own ideas. 

The children did not think him very helpful, 
because when either Carola or Dotty was " it," 
Kerry would run, prancing and yelping, 
straight to where Polly was hiding. But he 
would not help Polly find the other two. He 
was so unfair about it that Carola and Dotty 
agreed that finding Polly need count only one 
out of every three times. 

After a time, Dotty fell and bumped her 
nose so that it began to bleed. Polly took her 



FAIR ROSAMOND 127 

at once into the house to find Grandma, and 
Carola followed. By the time Dotty's nose 
stopped bleeding and her face was washed, it 
was nearly sunset, and time for visiting little 
girls to go home. 

All this while Fair Rosamond had been left 
to entertain her guests out of doors. Polly 
was sorry Fair Rosamond had been so thought- 
less, but it was rather late in the day to mend 
matters. Elinor and Calamity Jane had to go 
home, each with her own mother. Polly went 
out with them. She intended to put Rosa- 
mond directly into bed because she had been 
so rude to her callers. 

Elinor and Calamity Jane were still sitting 
on the couch of leaves but Fair Rosamond was 
gone. 

Polly couldn't believe her eyes. Though 
twilight was falling, the two visitors were per- 
fectly visible, though they had moved farther 



128 THREE GATES 

apart. Calamity Jane had even turned her 
back impolitely upon Elinor. 

Carola and Dotty helped Polly search. 
They paid no attention to Mittens, who had 
come out for his usual evening game with the 
swallows. Mittens lay flat on his back in the 
drive while the swallows swooped above him, 
and he tried to bat them with his front paws. 
Back and forth skimmed the birds, so close that 
they seemed to touch the little furry feet, but 
Mittens never hit them and probably the 
swallows did not mean that he should. Nearly 
every pleasant evening at sunset Mittens came 
out for his frolic and, though there wasn't a 
swallow in sight when he lay down in the drive, 
they at once appeared. The game ended when 
Mittens rolled over on his feet. Then the 
swallows went away. 

Carola and Dotty hunted for Fair Rosa- 
mond imtil it grew so late that Grandma was 



FAIR ROSAMOND 129 

worried about their getting home before dark. 
That part was all right because Mrs. Thorne 
sent Dutee after Carola, and though Dutee 
was rather cross because of coming, he told 
Grandma that he would see Dotty safely home. 
Neither did he think that Fair Rosamond was 
any excuse for Carola not to start for home at 
jBve. 

" You can make your excuses to Mother, 
Miss," he growled. 

Carola meant to do so. She was sure 
Mother would understand how Polly grieved 
over her child's disappearance. 

Polly hunted till she couldn't see anything 
distinctly, partly because it was so dark and 
partly because the tears would keep coming 
into her eyes. 

"Do you think Mother will look for her 
when she comes? " she asked Grandma, who 
finally called her in. 



130 THREE GATES 

" I am sure she will," said Grandma. " She 
will take the lantern from the shed and look all 
around. But even if you don't find her till 
morning, Fair Rosamond won't be hurt by 
staying out. The stars are bright and it isn't 
going to rain." 

" She never slept outside of her bed before," 
said Polly tearfully. 

" Then think what a great adventure it will 
be for her to camp out overnight," comforted 
Grandma. " Where's Kerry? " 

Polly went to the door to call him. Kerry 
rushed in, carrying a small brown door-mat, 
which didn't belong to Three Gates. 

" Dear me! " said Grandma, looking at it in 
dismay. " What a naughty puppy ! Where 
do you suppose he got that mat? " 

Polly didn't know. Kerry might have 
brought it from simply anywhere. 

" After supper I shall have to telephone all 



FAIR ROSAMOND 131 

around the neighborhood and try to find out," 
said Grandma resignedly. " Hurry with the 
table, Polly dear. It's getting late." 

Polly set the table, but she dragged one foot 
after the other in a way quite unlike her usual 
happy self. Every time she thought of Fair 
Rosamond a big choke came in her throat. 

After supper Mother lighted the lantern and 
Polly put on her coat and they looked all over 
the orchard where the little girls had been play- 
ing. Not a trace of Fair Rosamond could be 
found. 

" What do you think has happened? " Polly 
asked. Her throat was very choky now and 
it was hard not to cry. 

" I don't know," said Mother, " unless " 

She did not finish her sentence but stood 
looking at the little brown door-mat which 
Kerry had presented to his family. 

" Do you suppose, Polly," she asked at last, 



132 THREE GATES 

" that bad little Kerry took Fair Rosamond off 
and exchanged her for this mat? " 

" I think it's just what he did," answered 
Polly, overcome by the thought and bursting 
into tears. " He's a mean, mean dog, and I 
sha'n't love him any more! " 

" I'm afraid he did take her," said Mother, 
" but he doesn't know any better. Fair Rosa- 
mond may come home. Don't you remember, 
Polly, when we taught you the street, and house 
number so you would know where you lived if 
you should be lost, you asked me to write Rosa- 
mond's name and address on a paper for you 
to put in the pocket of her dress? Is it still 
there? " 

"Yes, Mother, it is!" said Polly, cheering 
up. " I know it's there because I put it back 
last time Grandma washed her dress. Mother, 
do you think she will come home? " 

" I shouldn't be surprised to see her trotting 



FAIR ROSAMOND 133 

in to-morrow morning," said Mother, and 
Polly managed an answering smile. 

But Fair Rosamond did not come home in 
the morning. Grandma telephoned to several 
neighbors to ask if any one had received Polly's 
child in exchange for a door-mat. Nobody 
had missed the mat and nobody had seen Fair 
Rosamond. 

On the whole, Polly was brave, and she 
slapped Kerry only once, in a moment when 
she was missing Fair Rosamond dreadfully and 
he was teasing her to play. As soon as she 
did it, she was sorry, for after all, she didn't 
know that Kerry kidnapped her child. 

Uncle Jack had no doubts whatever on the 
subject. He told Kerry he was no longer an 
angel puppy but a bad black-hearted burglar, 
and he told Polly he would bring her another 
doll as nearly like Fair Rosamond as he could 
find in the city of Boston. 



134 THREE GATES 

Polly hugged him and said she'd rather not 
have anybody in Fair Rosamond's place. 

Uncle Jack was troubled by this answer. 
When Polly was asleep he asked his sister what 
he had better do. 

" Let's just wait," said Polly's mother. 
" Perhaps Fair Rosamond will yet come home. 
Perhaps, after a while, Polly will feel like lov- 
ing her twin sister." 

The brown mat hung on a nail in the wood- 
shed. Nobody could discover to whom it be- 
longed. 



CHAPTER ELEVEN 

Tells about the Street Fair 

CAROLA told Polly that there was to 
be a street fair in Longfield. She and 
Polly were walking home from church 
school when Susan came up behind them. 
Susan was helping with the youngest children 
in the church school that fall, and she liked 
doing so better than she liked many things. 
Mrs. Thorne told Polly's grandmother that she 
was really discouraged about Susan, because 
there was almost nothing Susan wanted to do. 
But Susan liked the littlest children and the 
children liked her. 

Polly also, was fond of her. Susan and 
Dutee were often extremely impolite to each 

other, not to say quarrelsome, but Susan al- 

135 



136 THREE GATES 

ways petted her little sister, and often included 
Polly when doing things for Carola. 

Susan was tall and slender and very pretty. 
Uncle Jack said that Susan Thorne was the 
prettiest young girl in Longfield, but he was 
willing to wager ten cents that at sixteen, 
Grandmother Thorne had been even prettier. 
Nobody was living who had known Grand- 
mother Thorne at that age, so nobody con- 
tradicted Uncle Jack. 

" I don't know what a street fair is," Polly 
was saying when Susan overtook them. 

" It's to raise money for the town hospital," 
Susan explained. " It's just like a church 
fair, Polly, only it will be along a street. They 
are going to take Spring Street, where you 
live, and rope it off so no cars can go through, 
and charge ten cents for admission. There 
will be things to sell in the different houses and 
on the lawns." 



THE STREET FAIR 137 

"My street!" exclaimed Polly. "What's 
going to be in my house? " 

" I don't know," said Susan. " But I'm to 
manage the balloons, and you and Carola can 
help sell them. The street will be spick and 
spandy clean so people can dance on the as- 
phalt. There's to be a hurdy-gurdy for 



music." 



" I don't like that kind of music," said 
Polly. 

"Neither do I," said Susan, "but it's 
fashionable. Last month I went to a wedding 
where they had a hurdy-gurdy." 

" Right in the church? " shrieked the shocked 
Carola. 

" No, goosey, at the reception, for dancing 
on the lawn." 

" When's it to be — the street fair, I mean? " 
Polly asked. 

" Next Saturday," replied Susan. 



138 THREE GATES 

Polly gave a little skip of satisfaction. She 
thought all the nicest things happened on 
Saturdays. That was partly because it was a 
day when Mother was at home to help them 
happen. 

" What's Dutee going to do? " Carola asked. 

" Look after Silverheels," said her sister. 

" Why, is Silverheels going to the street 
fair? " Polly asked in astonishment. 

" Yes," answered Susan. " Harnessed to 
his cart to take children to ride. Ten cents a 
ride will bring in a lot of dimes for the hospital. 
I only hope Dutee tends to his job. I shall 
be too busy with the balloons to keep after 
him." 

When she reached home, Polly found that 
Grandma and Mother knew all about the street 
fair. They told her what part her house was 
to take. 

On the front lawn of Three Gates a cabbage 



THE STREET FAIR 139 

garden would grow, each paper cabbage con- 
cealing in its heart a grab. At the front gate 
some one would stand to collect the nickels. 
The grab-seekers would pay at that gate, file 
in, pluck each a cabbage, and leave by the side 
gate. 

Grandma said that she expected to see about 
the lawn a great quantity of green and purple 
paper, and that the ladies who were planning 
the grabs did not realize how much work it 
would be to make two hundred crepe-paper 
cabbages. 

On the kitchen porch of Three Gates there 
was planned a cat show. People would pay 
five cents at the back gate to go in and see the 
cats. 

This troubled Polly till she knew that the 
visiting cats would come in boxes with wire 
fronts. No cats would be loose to fight with 
Mittens. 



140 THREE GATES 

She wondered how he would like the affair 
and Mother suggested that Mittens be a part 
of the show. 

" He won't like so many people around," 
she said. " Don't you think he will be just as 
happy if he is in a box for the afternoon? " 

Polly thought it over and decided that Mit- 
tens would be happier, and safer, too, for he 
would not understand having strangers about 
his home. He loved to lie in boxes and would 
probably curl up and sleep. 

That disposed of Mittens. Uncle Jack said 
he would see about the box. He also said that 
on the Saturday of the street fair, he should 
take Kerry to a friend living in another part 
of town. Three Gates and the fair could dis- 
pense with Kerry's society. Things would 
surely go more smoothly without him. 

As the week passed, all the Spring Street 
people worked hard to get ready for the fair. 



THE STREET FAIR 141 

Others from all over town kept coining, to plan 
where the candy should be sold and where was 
the best place for the popcorn and the peanuts 
and the cake. 

Of course everything depended on the 
weather. Every one hoped for a pleasant day, 
and when Saturday dawned not only sunny, 
but warm, it seemed as though October itself 
were interested in the Longfield hospital and 
wanted the fair to be a success. 

Very early the street was astir. First came 
the town workmen. They swept that street by 
inches, and then came the fire engine and 
pimiped water all over the asphalt. Nobody 
had ever seen it so clean before. The work- 
men set barriers at each end so that nothing 
could drive in and soil the street before the 
fair began. 

This happened before Polly was dressed, 
and during breakfast she kept popping up to 



142 THREE GATES 

see the men who came to arrange outdoor tables 
and to string wires along the trees for colored 
lights in the evening. Interesting things hap- 
pened every moment. Polly's friends all en- 
vied her because she was living right in the 
middle of the street fair. 

When four young ladies began to plant cab- 
bages on the front lawn of Three Gates, Polly 
almost burst with excitement. Each paper 
cabbage was tied to a slender sharp stick stuck 
into the turf. Never did a regular vegetable 
garden boast such even rows. 

Mother's share had been to make the pretty 
posters telling people about the fair. She 
made them early in the week, and Polly had 
seen them in the shop-windows and tacked on 
the bulletin-board before the Town Hall. 

Grandma's clever fingers made a great many 
cunning white rolls for the supper to be served 
in the garden of the Freeman house. Polly 



TEE STREET FAIR 143 

secretly hoped that a few would be left over 
for the family. 

No cats were expected till about two o'clock, 
the hour when the fair was to open. Polly 
wondered how Susan and the balloons were 
getting on. 

" May I go and see about the balloons? " she 
asked Mother. 

" After lunch," said Mother. " Come and 
eat now, Polly. It's early, but we want to get 
through." 

Interesting things were to be seen from the 
breakfast-nook where they lunched; a tent go- 
ing up in the Sanborn yard for a fortune- 
teller, the front of the Roberts house being 
strung with tiny flags of all nations, and the 
wide porch set with tables for afternoon tea. 

When Polly reached the Thorne place, she 
found Carola and Dutee and Susan and Nanna 
and Wicky and Frank, the chauffeur, all 



144 THREE GATES 

clustered just inside the garage door. From 
that door came a hissing, piercing noise. 

It was the kind of noise that makes you stop 
your ears with your fingers. Wicky and 
Carola were doing it, and Polly stopped hers 
at once, for she did want to see what was going 
on in that garage. Before the door, Beware- 
the-dog was prancing crazily, uttering ago- 
nized yelps. He was almost tying himself into 
bow-knots in his excitement. 

Inside, Susan and Dutee both appeared to 
be talking, though nobody could hear one word 
they said. Frank, with a resigned expression 
on his face, held the nozzle of a rubber tube 
attached to a big cylinder and was filling the 
balloons with gas. 

Polly's fascinated eyes watched him take a 
limp wrinkled bit of blue or red or yellow 
rubber and slip it on the nozzle of the pipe, 
which at once blew it into a wonderful big 



THE STREET FAIR 145 

colored bubble. Frank twisted its neck and 
handed it to Nanna. She slipped an elastic 
band over the neck to keep it tight. Susan 
then took the balloon and tied on a long cord. 
Dutee was grouping the finished balloons in 
bunches, which bobbed about his head and 
about the roof of the garage in an absorbing 
riot of colored globes. 

Every now and then some balloon had a spot 
of thinner rubber or Frank filled it too full. 
Then an explosion was added to the hissing 
and only a torn fragment of colored rubber 
remained of the shining globe. It had 
vanished like a soap-bubble. 

Susan rushed out with a bunch of balloons 
bobbing above her head like many-colored 
grapes. She shoved them into the big limou- 
sine standing outside the garage. It was 
already nearly full of inflated balloons. 

" You don't need to stand here and listen to 



146 THREE GATES 

that noise ! " she shrieked to Carola and Polly 
and Wicky, 

Of course they didn't need to, but who could 
leave so fascinating a spot? 

At last came a lull, for the car would hold 
no more balloons. Frank shut off the gas with 
a sigh of relief and came out to drive the car 
down the back way to the Richards house, 
where the balloons were being anchored to 
trees. Nurse grabbed Beware-the-dog by the 
collar, Susan and Dutee crowded into the front 
seat with Frank, and the limousine full of gay 
balloons swung down the drive. To-day the 
Thorne car was having small chance to rest its 
wheels. A great peace fell upon the garage. 
Even Beware-the-dog ceased yelping and lay 
down, exhausted and panting. 

" That's the third load," said Carola, un- 
stopping her ears in relief. " How many 
more are there to blow up, Nanna? " 



THE STREET FAIR 147 

" About fifty," the nurse replied. " I shall 
certainly be glad when they are done." 

" So shall I," said Wicky, so solemnly that 
Carola and Polly both hugged him, and Be- 
ware-the-dog jumped up and licked his face. 

" Susan's 'most had a fit," said Carola. 
** Frank had to drive to three towns before he 
could get the right kind of gas. And it's a 
lot of work to blow up three hundred balloons." 

" My, what a many! " said Polly, and then 
she said she must go home. Mittens was yet to 
be found and put in his box for exhibition. 

Carola was worrying about Silverheels. She 
thought he should be harnessed and in attend- 
ance at the fair. Eight or ten children might 
already be waiting for a drive. 

" It isn't necessary for Silverheels to be 
there exactly at two," said Nanna. "Dutee 
will see to him as soon as the balloons are out 
of the way." 



148 THREE GATES 

When Polly reached home three cats had ar- 
rived for the show, each in a comfortable box. 
The boxes bore cards with the names of the 
owners. 

" Mittens has eaten his dinner and gone up- 
stairs for a nap," said Mother. " His box is 
ready, if you'll bring him, Polly." 

Polly found the dear pussy asleep on the 
foot of Mother's bed. He purred all the time 
she was carrying him down and while he was 
being put in his box, to which Mother had 
fastened a card. 

" MITTENS " 

" Entered by Pauline Winsor." 

When on the porch. Mittens paid no atten- 
tion to the other cats. He liked his box and 
he was sleepy so he curled up for another nap. 

Even balloons were forgotten when two men 
dressed in Scotdi kilts began to parade the 



THE STREET FAIR 149 

street, stepping pridefully in time to the bag- 
pipes they played. Such queer-looking affairs 
to be musical instruments! 

All the rest of the afternoon so many and 
such interesting things constantly happened 
that Polly felt confused. And she didn't 
know so many people lived in Longfield as 
came to that street fair. 

One by one the red and yellow and green and 
blue balloons floated away above the heads of 
happy children. One by one the two hundred 
cabbages on the lawn of Three Gates dis- 
appeared in the hands of grab-seekers. 
Grandma admitted that the matter of dis- 
carded paper was better than she feared. 
Cunning little Silverheels trotted up and down 
the street a dozen times an hour, his basket cart 
full of little boys and girls. Silverheels was 
doing his best for the hospital. 

Polly and Carola helped Susan with the 



150 THREE 0ATE8 

balloons until the last one floated away. 
"Thank goodness, that's over!" said Susan, 
just as though she hadn't been having as much 
fun as the little girls. 

"Let's look at the cat show," said Carola. 
" I want to see the kittens you said had come." 

They started for Three Gates but suddenly 
Polly stopped. 

" There's that queer table!" she exclaimed. 
" I saw the sign * White Elephant Table ' and 
I asked Grandma why * white elephants ' and 
she said it was just things that cluttered and 
you didn't want any longer. Let's look at it." 

Very uninteresting things, — white elephants, 
— ^the little girls thought as they inspected the 
table. Plates, ugly vases, all sorts of odds and 
ends, and yet people were buying them. 

During the time Polly was selling balloons, 
the cat show increased to thirty boxes and the 
judges made their inspection. To Polly's sur- 



THE STREET FAIR 151 

prise, she found a blue ribbon tied to the box 
where Mittens lay lazily opening and shutting 
his big yellow eyes. 

" The judges said he was the handsomest 
and best cared-for cat of his class," explained 
Arthur Kendall, who had charge of the show. 

Polly nearly burst with pride to have her 
pet thus honored. Blue ribbons decorated two 
other boxes, one containing a lovely white 
Angora belonging to Miss Emily Parks; the 
other, four cunning tiger-striped kittens play- 
ing about their proud mother. 

" Have many people come to see the 
kitties? " Polly asked, and learned that Arthur 
already had nearly seven dollars in nickels, and 
the cat show did not close till six. He ex- 
pected to take in at least ten dollars. 

At six, Silverheels, too, finished his task. 
He had earned fifteen dollars for the hospital. 

When darkness fell. Mother let Polly walk 



152 THREE GATES 

the length of the street to see the colored lights 
and the people dancing to the music of the 
hurdy-gurdy. 

Then, it seemed, little girls who lived on 
Spring Street went to bed just as though 
Three Gates were the usual quiet home. Mit- 
tens was to stay indoors also, and as consola- 
tion to both. Mittens wore his blue ribbon and 
was allowed to curl on Polly's bed until 
Mother should come up. Then he must go 
down to his cushion in the kitchen. 



CHAPTER TWELVE 

Tells about the Chestnut Picnic 

A WEEK later, Jack Frost paid a second 
visit to Longfield. He took all the 
flowers from the gardens and the ferns 
from the woods. The leaves were pinched 
from all the trees except the evergreens. 
Those he let alone. Little they cared for 
frosty nights or nipping winds. They in- 
tended to keep their green dresses all winter. 

But with all the damage. Jack Frost did 
one helpful thing. He opened the chestnut 
burrs so that their shiny nuts fell to the ground. 

Not many chestnuts grew near Longfield, 
but Mr. Thorne owned a wood-lot in the real 
country and upon it were a number of nut- 
trees. Every year the Thorne children went 

chestnutting, and usually invited their friends. 

153 



154: THREE GATES 

Up to this time, the chestnut picnic had been 
chiefly for Susan and Dutee. This year, 
Susan didn't wish to go. She said she was 
tired of picnics and she didn't like chestnuts, 
anjrway. Mrs. Thorne did not try to persuade 
her. She hoped Susan would change her 
mind, but Carola should go and Polly Winsor 
was to be invited. There would be plenty of 
room in the big car for Mrs. Thorne and the 
chauffeur, for Dutee and Harry Emerson and 
Arthur Kendall, for Polly and Carola and the 
lunch. Even then there would still be room 
for Susan and her friend Leslie Peterson. 

Susan wouldn't change her mind and she 
didn't go. Carola and Polly thought she was 
very silly. 

That Saturday morning shone glorious, with 
a cool breeze and a warm sun. Polly didn't 
know the road to the chestnut grove and she 
thought it lovely. Many farmhouses sat along 



TEE CHESTNUT PICNIC 155 

its edges and there were cows in the fields, 
black-and-white Holsteins and cream-colored 
Jerseys and red Ayrshires, and just plain cows 
which didn't belong to any important cow 
families. They had kind faces, and probably 
gave plenty of milk for the children to drink. 

After a time the farms grew less frequent 
and the country became more hilly. The state 
roads changed to gravel ones and then to 
narrow wood roads and finally there was only 
a cart-path. Frank stopped the car. 

" We could go a little farther," he said to 
Mrs. Thome, " but the road ahead looks 
washed, and I must keep the car where I can 
turn around." 

" We are almost there," said Mrs. Thome. 
" We will walk the rest of the way." 

Dutee, Harry, and Arthur piled out in a 
hurry, but they took their full share of the 
packages and baskets. Dutee expected to get 



156 THREE GATES 

SL great many nuts. Mrs. Thorne had her 
doubts. The trees were old and not bearing 
so well, and one of the largest had fallen the 
previous winter. And one never could be sure 
that other people would not find the trees and 
take the nuts, though they belonged to Mr. 
Thorne. 

To reach the chestnut grove one walked 
right into the woods, wild woods with dried 
leaves of many winters underfoot, and under- 
brush and fallen branches, quite unlike the 
tidy, cleaned-up woods near Longfield. 

The boys ran ahead out of sight, but Carola 
and Polly stayed close to Mrs. Thorne. Get- 
ting lost in that place was a different matter 
from mistaking one's way in Longfield. Much 
good it would do Polly to know her mother's 
name and her own, and exactly where she lived, 
if she didn't meet a single person to whom to 
tell it. 



TEE CHESTNUT PICNIC 157 

"All right, Mother!" Dutee shouted back. 
" Nobody has taken the nuts." 

Very tall those chestnut-trees stood, so it 
was fortunate that nearly all the burrs had been 
pried open by Jack Frost's busy fingers. 
Had they still been tight-shut, the boys would 
have wanted to climb the trees to shake down 
the burrs, and when three boys climb chestnut- 
trees, there are three chances that somebody 
may tumble and bump a head or perhaps break 
an arm. 

Polly and Carola each carried a little basket. 
What fun it was to hunt in the fallen leaves 
for the shining nuts and poke into crannies 
with a long stick to rout out any trying to 
hide! 

The boys left the loose chestnuts for the 
little girls to collect, and filled their baskets 
with burrs which had fallen unopened. They 
sat on flat rocks and pounded the prickly burrs 



158 THREE GATES 

open, and did not seem to mind when the 
prickles stuck in their fingers. 

Mrs. Thorne also pounded burrs open and 
divided between Carola and Polly the nuts they 
contained. Presently Frank came up. He 
had locked the car safely and now he wanted 
a share of the fun. He climbed a tree at once 
because he saw a very desirable bunch of burrs 
which had not fallen. When he reached a 
good place, he braced himself and took hold of 
a limb and shook it as hard as he could shake, 
and down came the burrs. 

Polly was surprised to find that in the 
greenest burrs the nuts were not dark brown 
as she was accustomed to think of chestnuts, 
but almost pure white, or white spotted with 
brown. Mrs. Thorne told her that all the nuts 
had once been white, but as they ripened they 
grew darker and their shells became tougher 
and thicker. 



THE CHESTNUT PICNIC 159 

Lunch time came quite soon, for they had 
driven nearly sixty miles from Longfield. The 
boys and Frank collected twigs and sticks to 
build a fire on a flat rock. The rock had a 
deep crack, so that a frying-pan could be 
balanced on its edges and the fire built below. 
The rock was already blackened by smoke be- 
cause the Thornes always used it for a fireplace 
when they held a chestnut picnic. 

The frying-pan was large, and that was 
lucky, because it could hold such a quantity of 
bacon and eggs. Mrs. Thorne lost count of 
how many eggs she cooked and passed over to 
the boys or to Frank. Every one of those three 
boys seemed to be entirely hollow inside, which 
is nothing unusual for boys. 

But they didn't spend all their time eating 
bacon and eggs and lamb chops. Harry cut 
two big loaves into a great many slices of bread, 
and Arthur and Dutee buttered them. There 



160 THREE GATES 

seemed little for Carola and Polly to do, so 
they sat still and let the boys wait on them. 

Frank attended to the kettle of hot chocolate 
at the upper end of the blaze and served it in 
white enamel cups with convenient handles. 
Instead of sugar, there were marshmallows. 
Carola and Polly each had two marshmallows 
and thought that was rather reckless until 
Carola saw that her brother had taken four. 

"Mother, look at Dutee!" she exclaimed. 
" He put four marshmallows in his cup." 

" Telltale," said Dutee. 

Mrs. Thorne didn't seem to hear either of 
them. At times, mothers are conveniently 
deaf. 

Carola really didn't care how sweet Dutee 
chose to make his chocolate. It was so lovely 
and warm there in the golden October sunshine 
with the spicy odor of the woods and of the 
pleasant little fire. Besides, Carola knew that 



THE CHESTNUT PICNIC 161 

the big thermos jar beyond Polly was full of 
caramel ice-cream, and that there were little 
cakes with vanilla and chocolate icing to eat 
with it. Oh, a very superior picnic — this 
chestnutting frolic! 

When the cakes were finished and every 
particle of the ice-cream was scraped from the 
jar, they burned the paper plates and paper 
napkins and the wooden spoons. Only the 
thermos jar and the kettle and frying-pan and 
cups remained to take home. Except for 
crumbs, which the ants would enjoy, and an- 
other coat of black on the rock fireplace, noth- 
ing was left to tell the tale of the picnic. 

Back to the chestnuts went everybody. Mrs. 
Thorne would not let any more burrs be 
knocked off the trees. She wanted some left 
for the squirrels. Dutee said the squirrels 
liked acorns just as well and that there were 
plenty of oak-trees in the woods. When Polly 



162 THREE QATE8 

heard this, she felt better about the chestnuts. 
She did not wish any squirrel to go hungry be- 
cause she had taken too many. 

At four o'clock, Mrs. Thorne said they must 
start for home. Eighteen quarts of nuts had 
been collected. How fragrant they smelled, 
and how satiny smooth they felt to one's 
fingers! 

A rather tired party came back to the big 
limousine. Polly was glad to see that Frank 
had already turned it around and that it was 
headed for home. She and Carola and Arthur 
and Mrs. Thorne all sat on the soft cushioned 
back seat, and Dutee and Harry on the little 
pull-out chairs. Frank sat alone in front. 

When they came out of the woods the sun 
was low, and before they reached Longfield it 
was dark and Frank had turned on the head- 
lights. Just as they were leaving the real 
country, Frank stopped the car so suddenly 



THE CHESTNUT PICNIC 163 

that everybody was jerked forward and the 
engine stalled. 

" Keep still, everybody I " exclaimed Dutee. 
"Don't move! There's a skmik mider the 
car!" 

Every one sat as though frozen. Polly and 
Carola peered from the window. 

" Are you sure it is under us? " whispered 
Mrs. Thorne. 

Frank pointed silently to the left side of the 
road. Coming slowly from under the car and 
walking along in the wheel-track, in the full 
glare of the lights was the pretty little black- 
and-white animal which had given them such 
a surprise. Not hurrying in the least, it picked 
its way to the stone wall by the side of the road 
and went over it into an orchard. 

Frank started the engine and everybody be- 
gan to talk. Carola thought it a pity that so 
pretty a little animal should be so disagreeable. 



164 THREE GATES 

Dutee said he was going to get a baby skunk 
and tame it, and Harry said he knew a boy who 
had done it. 

And while they were all talking, the big car 
slipped silently into Longfield, to leave Polly 
at Three Gates with the memory of a lovely 
day behind her, and two quarts of chestnuts 
to share with her family. 



CHAPTER THIRTEEN 

Tells about Polly's Birthday Present 

POLLY'S birthday was the tenth of 
March, and yet, on the first of Novem- 
ber Mother took her into town to choose 
her present. 

For Polly's birthday gift from Mother was 
spread over the whole year and many people 
would consider it the nicest gift that could 
come to any one, little or big. The present 
was a new book on the first day of every month 
of the year, and Polly might choose the book. 

That didn't mean that Polly went into town 
every month. Sometimes, when she was in the 
children's department of the big city book- 
store, she had hard work to choose between 

several books. When this happened, Polly's 

165 



166 THREE GATES 

second choice usually appeared the next time 
the date came for a new book. Sometimes 
Polly found a book in the Longfield Public 
Library which she felt was written on purpose 

for her. 

* 

The Longfield children had a room in the 
library which belonged entirely to them. 
Grown people might come in and look around, 
and the children were polite to them, but they 
were not expected to stay. The room belonged 
to the children, and such a pretty room it was, 
with low tables and chairs and no high shelves 
where the most desirable books could perch. 
Every shelf in the children's room was within 
easy reach. Sunshine streamed across it and 
the windows opened on a green lawn. On 
the walls himg lovely pictures and on the end 
of a bookcase stood a beautiful little model of 
the Santa Maria, the ship which brought Co- 
lumbus to America. Cretonne curtains, gay 



POLLY'S BIRTHDAY PRESENT 167 

with red and yellow apples, draped the win- 
dows. Best of all, the two young ladies in 
charge loved the children and liked to have 
them come. Polly didn't know which of the 
two she would rather find behind the desk. 
Miss Burt wore a yellow smock because she had 
dark hair and eyes. Miss Canfield was fair, so 
her smock was green. Both smocks had collars 
and cuffs of the bright cretonne which hung 
at the windows. 

A big cat named Henry of Navarre helped 
manage the children's room. To catch mice 
in the library basement was his real duty, but 
he attended to this at night. During the 
afternoon he usually slept on the window-seat 
or on one of the low tables. The first children 
to arrive at the library after school at once 
chose the table where Henry lay, and sat down 
to read where they might pet him between the 
turning of pages. His fur suit was coal-black, 



168 THREE GATES 

except for three inches of snow-white at the 
end of his tail. 

Miss Burt told the children that their kitty 
was named for a French king, Henry, the 
soldier of Navarre, who, long ago, rode into 
battle, wearing a suit of armor and a helmet 
to protect his head from swords and arrows. 
This was long before the time of muskets and 
cannon. Above his helmet rose a plume of 
white feathers, and where the white plume led. 
King Henry's soldiers followed and fought for 
him. 

Polly liked the library cat, but didn't think 
him so nice as her Mittens. His fur was not 
nearly so soft and silky. Henry was what 
Polly called a " hard " cat to touch, but he was 
purry and gracious to everybody who came to 
the children's room. 

Miss Burt kept the books with the loveliest 
pictures on shelves by themselves, and there 



POLLY'S BIRTHDAY PRESENT 169 

was a sign above the case: " Only Clean Hands 
May Touch These Books." 

So, whenever she went to the library, Polly 
was most careful to see that her hands were 
absolutely clean, in order that she might take 
these books. Miss Burt knew all about Polly's 
birthday present and how there was a book to 
choose each month. She took pains to show to 
Polly any new book she thought Polly might 
like to own. During October, Polly had fallen 
in love with one of these. 

Its name was " The Lost Merbaby," and it 
had charming silhouette illustrations showing 
the fishes and the mermaids and the cunning 
merbaby and the kind fisher-people who took 
care of it when the careless little mermaids lost 
it. 

Miss Burt gave Polly the book to read and 
Polly liked it so much that she was two hours 
that day getting home from the library, when 



170 THREE GATES 

it needn't have taken more than fifteen 
minutes. Grandma was shocked. She said 
that Polly might have been run over at any 
crossing. 

Polly told Grandma that she didn't read 
when crossing the streets, but she didn't tell 
her how she had walked into one lamp-post, one 
baby-carriage, three trees, and a fat policeman, 
while she read that book through twice. 

She read it five times more before taking it 
back to the library. Mother also enjoyed the 
story and loved the illustrations. She agreed 
that it was a nice book for Polly to add to her 
own library. 

So this morning they were going into the 
city to buy the birthday book and some new 
shoes and a new winter coat and hat for Polly. 
You can see that the occasion was really im- 
portant. 

Mother thought they had better take the 



POLLY'S BIRTHDAY PRESENT 171 

early train because the stores would be less 
crowded in the morning. Too many people 
would be there, anyway. 

Polly liked to ride on the train. This Satur- 
day morning it was disappointing because 
there were not enough seats for the passengers. 
She had to sit on Mother's lap and did not have 
a very good view. A journey is always more 
interesting if one sits next to the window. 

The coat was the first thing to consider. 
Polly was far more interested in the big dolls 
dressed in the new clothes for children than 
she was in the coat itself. Mother was not 
easily suited, and Polly was growing tired of 
having coats tried on before Mother found one 
she liked. Then Polly stopped looking at the 
dolls and the other children and, for the first 
time, looked at the coat she had on. 

The soft pretty cloth was of a color not quite 
brown and certainly not gray, but with grayish 



172 THREE GATES 

shades in it. It fitted nicely, but left room for 
growing. 

"Do you like this one?" Mother asked 
PoUy. 

Polly said she did, and that it was comfort- 
able and plenty warm enough. 

" It is the pick of the lot for line and ma- 
terial," said the salesgirl, when Mrs. Winsor 
said she would take it. 

" What did she mean? " Polly asked as the 
girl took the card Mrs. Winsor gave her and 
went away to copy the address. 

" That it is pretty and well-made," said 
Mother. 

" The merbaby next? " asked Polly, without 
another thought for the coat. What is a new 
coat in comparison with a new book? 

" Shoes next," said Mother. " They won't 
take long, just high moccasin shoes for school 
this winter." 



POLLY'S BIRTHDAY PRESENT 173 

" I hope I don't have to try on so many shoes 
as coats," said Polly. 

She didn't. The first pair fitted. 

" A hat next," said Mother. 

Such a pretty hat, when Mother found what 
she liked! Not exactly the same color as the 
coat, but a shade lighter, and with one pink 
rose in the precise place where a rose would 
do the most good. Carola would like Polly's 
new coat and hat. All the little girls thought 
Polly had pretty clothes. 

" And now the merbaby? " Polly inquired 
hopefully. 

" And now, the merbaby," said Mother, and 
they started for the bookstore. 

Too many people in town that Saturday 
morning, even though it were still quite early! 
Polly held Mother's hand tightly. She had no 
intention of getting lost, though she could tell 
a kind policeman just where she lived. 



174 THREE GATES 

The lady in the bookstore knew Mother and 
smiled at Polly. 

" And what is to be the birthday book this 
month? " she asked. 

Polly's cheeks were pink with excitement as 
she told her. 

" Oh, that is a nice choice," said the book- 
store lady, and she brought Polly a copy of the 
" Lost Merbaby." 

" Here it is," she said. " I'll wrap it for 
you, and then I want to show you some of the 
new books which are coming in for Christmas." 

Polly's eyes shone. Christmas meant an 
extra book from Mother and usually one from 
Uncle Jack. She looked eagerly at the new 
Doctor Dolittle book and at the new book of 
verses which Christopher Robin's father had 
written for him. Above her head the book- 
store lady and Mother smiled at each other. 

" If you have other errands to do, Mrs. Win- 



POLLY'S BIRTHDAY PRESENT 175 

sor, leave her here with the books. I shall be 
right around all the time." 

"Would you like to stay here while I do 
some more shopping? " Mother asked. 

Polly decided to stay. 

" Take off your coat, then," said Mother, 
" and be very careful of the books." 

" I shall read only this one about Christo- 
pher Robin," said Polly, as she settled herself 
in the chair beside the bookstore lady's desk. 

Mrs. Winsor was gone almost an hour but 
she came back to find Polly still reading. 

" I have decided about my December book," 
said Polly as soon as she saw her. " I just 
must have the new Christopher Robin book. 
Mother dear." 

" I'll remember," said the bookstore lady. 
" Come again, Polly. Here, don't forget your 
merbaby. On December first, Christopher 
Robin will be waiting for you." 



CHAPTER FOURTEEN 

Tells about the Library Play 

GRANDMA never discovered to whom 
the little brown door-mat belonged. 
It still himg in the shed, awaiting an 
owner. And still Fair Rosamond did not 
come home. 

Polly often thought of her lost child. She 
concluded that it had been useless to provide 
Fair Rosamond with her name and address 
written on a paper in her pocket. She said so 
to Carola. 

" Perhaps the person who found Fair Rosa- 
mond couldn't read," suggested Carola. 

Polly couldn't credit this idea. In her ex- 
perience, only very little children were unable 

to read. But of course, it was possible that 

176 



THE LIBRARY PLAY 177 

such a child found Fair Rosamond and threw 
away the paper in her pocket. 

Grandma thought the paper could not have 
been there. What Mother thought, she didn't 
tell Polly. It was too terrible to put into 
words that Kerry had simply chewed up that 
unfortunate child. 

"Would you like Calamity Jane to make 
you a visit? " Carola asked. " She may come 
if you want her." 

Polly didn't like Calamity Jane, though she 
was too polite to say so. She said that Jacob 
and Moses kept her too busy to entertain a 
visitor just then. Calamity Jane in the place 
of Fair Rosamond! Her very name was 
enough. 

Dutee and Susan were arguing in the next 
room and their remarks puzzled Polly. She 
thought them over on the way home. 

" Mother," she asked, at the supper table. 



178 THREE GATES 

*' what is the least common multiple? Dutee 
wanted Susan to help him find it." 

Uncle Jack laid down his fork. " Great 
Scott! " he exclaimed. " Haven't they found 
that thing yet? As long ago as I was in school 
they were hunting for it." 

Mother and Grandma laughed and Polly 
looked at Uncle Jack. She didn't in the least 
know what he meant, but from his face she 
knew he was joking. 

" It is a lesson in nimibers, Polly," Mother 
explained. 

Polly smiled politely, but she wasn't amused. 
A wave of longing for Fair Rosamond swept 
over her. 

Mittens seemed to know she was lonely, for 
after supper he was very frisky, and batted 
his tiny Teddy bear about the sitting-room 
floor, crouching low and springing upon it as 
though he were a real tiger. 



THE LIBRARY PLAY 179 

" Mittens, I am glad you are only a foot 
long," Grandma said. " If you were twelve 
feet in length, I should really be afraid of you." 

Mittens twelve feet long! Polly tried to 
think how he would look that size. He would 
stretch the width of the kitchen. No, she pre- 
ferred him the size he was, and that size seemed 
precisely right when she went upstairs at half- 
past seven to find him curled very neatly in 
Fair Rosamond's empty bed. 

Next morning at school. Miss Rand talked 
to the children about books. The week, it 
seemed, was " Good Book Week." One by 
one. Miss Rand spoke of interesting books and 
asked how many of the children knew them. 

Some knew three or four and some didn't 
know any. Dotty and Louise and Carola and 
Polly knew nearly all. 

Miss Rand then told the children when they 
went home, to count the books, each child in 



180 THREE GATES 

her own home. To-morrow, she would ask 
how many they found. 

Polly was dismayed, for there were a great 
many books in Three Gates. Many had be- 
longed to Grandpa Clifford, who had been 
minister of the white church where Polly went. 
Many had belonged to Daddy. Mother had 
ever so many, and so had Uncle Jack. Polly 
herself owned four shelves full of books. Books 
were in every room of the house except the 
bathroom, and one sometimes got in there. 
Even the kitchen held its share. Uncle Jack 
said they might not have coal, but they surely 
had books. 

" I can never count them all," she said to 
Carola at recess. 

" Neither can I count Daddy's library," said 
Carola. " It's a whole room full of books." 

" Let's ask Miss Rand," Polly suggested. 

Miss Rand saw their difficulty at once. 



THE LIBRARY PLAY 181 

Polly and Carola might count just their own 
books and be excused from those belonging to 
other people in their families. 

So the next morning, Polly reported the 
seventy-six books which were her very own. 
Carola had one hundred and five, " but some 
were once Susan's," she said. 

All the other children made their reports. 
Miss Rand was pleased. There were both 
books and magazines in every home repre- 
sented by the second grade. 

Book Week was also being celebrated at the 
children's room in the Public Library. Miss 
Burt and Miss Canfield wrote a play for the 
children to act. 

In the play, a little girl named Dorothy, fell 
asleep over her lessons, and while she slept, the 
different characters in the stories she liked best 
crept out of their books and came alive and 
talked with each other. Alice came from 



182 THREE GATES 

" Alice in Wonderland," and Kit and Kat 
from the " Dutch Twins," and Curdie from the 
fairy tale, and Tom Canty from the " Prince 
and the Pauper," along with characters from 
other books which Dorothy liked to read. 

Polly was Heidi, the little Swiss girl, and 
Mother made her the proper kind of dress, just 
like the picture in the book. 

Carola couldn't be in the play, because of a 
music-lesson, but Dotty was a cuckoo clock be- 
hind the scenes and cried " Cuckoo! " to mark 
the hours. 

The play was on Friday after school, and 
mothers and other children were invited. 
Grandma had promised to come, since Mother 
couldn't. 

When the curtain rose, there sat Dorothy, 
trying to study at her desk. Soon she fell 
asleep to dream of her story-book friends. On 
either side the books stood in orderly rows. 



THE LIBRARY PLAY 183 

looking like books on a shelf, with their dif- 
ferent-colored backs and neatly lettered titles. 
But, at the proper moment, each character 
pushed aside the back of his book, which was 
really a cloth curtain, and came out to talk with 
the little people from the other stories. 

Polly thought the rehearsals for the play 
great fun. To be sure, she had to keep very 
still behind her curtain, crouched ready to 
spring out of her book when the time came. 

A little Greek girl named Tanis took the 
part of Dorothy and she slept so conscien- 
tiously, with her head pillowed on her arm, that 
up to the last rehearsal, she had never even 
seen the other children in the play. At the 
dress rehearsal, she asked Miss Burt if she 
might open her eyes and look, just enough to 
see the characters pop out of their books. Of 
course, in the real play, before the mothers, she 
wouldn't peep once. 



184 THREE GATES 

Miss Burt said she might open her eyes. It 
would be a pity for Tanis to be in that play and 
only hear the story-book people, not see them. 

A little Russian boy, Boris Troubotsky, was 
Tom Canty. His family was very proud that 
Boris was to have a part in the library play, 
and his father at once bought him a new pair 
of shoes. Boris brought them to the library 
beforehand to show Miss Burt. The shoes 
were bright yellow and squeaked loudly when 
he walked, but Miss Burt said Boris might 
wear them. 

On the afternoon of the play, not only his 
father and mother, but his six brothers and 
sisters, including the baby, came to see Boris 
wear the new yellow shoes and be Tom Canty, 
coming out of the " Prince and the Pauper." 
They knew the story, for Boris told it to them, 
putting it into Russian so they could under- 
stand it better. 



TEE LIBRARY PLAY 185 

Henry, the library cat, took part in the play. 
" Puss-in-Boots " was one of the stage books, 
and at the proper moment, to the great delight 
of the audience. Miss Caniield saw that Henry 
walked out of it. Henry did not care a rap 
for the applause which greeted him; he was 
used to being with a great many people, but 
he did not like the four bright-red cloth boots 
which Miss Canfield had fitted to his paws. 
The instant he bounced out of his book, he 
began to shake his front paws, and off flew two 
red boots. Actors and audience alike were 
rocking with laughter, but little cared Henry. 
He shook his hind feet just as hard and as 
crossly, and then he walked slowly and scorn- 
fully off thie stage, leaving the four little red 
boots behind him. 

Henry wasn't expected to do this, of course, 
and neither was Kit, when he followed Kat 
from the " Dutch Twins," expected to tumble 



186 THREE GATES 

over the edge of the book and go down on his 
knees. But that was quite in keeping with 
Kit's usual behavior. Dotty, as the cuckoo 
clock, got excited and sounded the hour rather 
of tener than needed. 

The mothers thought the play too short. 
" Do it over! Please do it over! " they called, 
and then they clapped their hands until Miss 
Burt said they might see it again. 

This time, Robin Hood caught his foot and 
tore the back oif his book. But that was noth- 
ing, for the backs of books do come off, when 
they are read as many times as children read 
" Robin Hood." 

" Puss-in-Boots " could not be induced to 
play again, and the cuckoo clock struck when- 
ever no one else was talking. As soon as the 
clock began to strike, the audience began to 
laugh. 

Polly was amused by Henry, but rather 



THE LIBRARY PLAY 187 

shocked by Dotty's behavior as the clock. 
Grandma was comforting and said it didn't 
matter. Everybody else was having a good 
time, so why shouldn't Dotty? 



CHAPTER FIFTEEN 

Tells about the Thanksgiving Surprises 

AT Thanksgiving time, Aunt Barbara 
usually came to Longfield with Uncle 
Charles and Ruth and Clifford and 
little Martha. Such fun to have a houseful of 
guests to share the turkey and play games after 
dinner ! 

Sometimes one cousin or another was at 
Three Gates for a visit during the summer 
vacation, but Thanksgiving was the only time 
when the whole family came. 

So it was a disappointment to hear from 
Mother that this year no aunt and uncle and 
cousins would drive on from Buffalo. 

" Aunt Barbara isn't feeling well," Mother 

explained. " And, Polly, she wants Grandma 

to come there." 

188 



TEE THANKSGIVING SURPRISES 189 

Thanksgiving without Grandma! Polly 
couldn't imagine such a state of affairs. 

" I shall be at home from Wednesday till 
Monday," Mother went on. " The visit will 
do Grandma good. She will start Tuesday 
night and come back on Sunday. We are 
planning a surprise for her when she gets 
back." 

Mother and Polly were talking in the work- 
room where Uncle Jack was bending over his 
table with a pencil and triangle. Instead of 
his coat he wore a brown smock which 
Grandma made. This didn't look funny to 
Polly, for she was quite used to seeing her 
young uncle at work in a smock. 

" What is the surprise? " she asked. " Am 
I to be in it? " 

Uncle Jack chuckled. " Very much in it, I 
expect. With hands and feet and hair before 
we get through." 



190 THREE GATES 

" What is it? " Polly asked again. 

" You know how the pretty breakfast-nook 
makes the rest of the kitchen look shabby," 
Mother began. 

" Look out, Edith," commented her brother. 
** Better wait till Mother is actually gone." 

" Oh, Polly can keep a secret," said Mrs. 
Winsor. " You won't tell Grandma, will you, 
darling? " 

" Not till you say I may," Polly replied 
eagerly. " I didn't tell her about the vacuum- 
cleaner last Christmas, Uncle Jack." 

" So you didn't," her uncle admitted. 
" You were a good sport." 

This was high praise from Uncle Jack, and 
Polly beamed with pride. 

" We are planning to do over the kitchen," 
Mother explained, " paint the walls and the 
woodwork and varnisji the floor. Grandma 
spends so much time in the kitchen that we 



THE THANKSGIVING SURPRISES 191 

mean to make it as pretty and pleasant as we 
can for her." 

" My! how nice! " said Polly, her eyes shin- 
ing. " What color will you paint it? '* 

" The woodwork scarlet, and the walls pale 
green with big black cats stenciled all over 
them," replied Uncle Jack lazily. 

Polly looked at him. His face was per- 
fectly serious. She looked at Mother. Mother 
was smiling. 

" It isn't so, is it. Mother? " she asked. " I 
do not think red woodwork and black cats will 
be one bit pretty." 

" Neither do we," said Mother. " Uncle 
Jack likes to hear himself talk. If he wants 
to do it that way, I sha'n't help him at all." 

" I sha'n't, either," said Polly firmly. 

" Now I think black cats and scarlet wood- 
work would be a striking combination," ob- 
served Uncle Jack. 



192 THREE GATES 

" I agree with you," said Mother. " Suf- 
ficiently striking to knock the family out of the 
house." 

Ejiowing that secret made Polly more will- 
ing to part with Grandma for Thanksgiving. 
And, anyway, nobody ought to be selfish when 
Aunt Barbara was ill and wanted to see her 
mother. 

Still, Polly was glad to find that the kitchen 
was not to be turned upside down until after 
the Thanksgiving dinner. Mother roasted a 
chicken and they ate the pies Grandma made 
before going to Buffalo. Uncle Jack advised 
Polly to eat a great deal. It might be her last 
square meal for several days. 

" What is home without a kitchen? Who 
can cook without a kitchen? " he inquired. 

Mother said that as long as there was an 
electric toaster and a coffee percolator in the 
house, she didn't intend to starve. And, per- 



THE THANKSGIVING SURPRISES 193 

sonally, she didn't intend to paint the gas- 
stove, whatever Uncle Jack might mean to do 
with it. 

As soon as dinner was over on Thanksgiving 
Day, preparations began. While Mother and 
Polly did the dishes, Uncle Jack completely 
covered the kitchen floor with old newspapers. 
He brushed the ceiling thoroughly. He mixed 
some powdery stuff with water in a pail. With 
a big wide brush he made the ceiling a soft 
cream-color. 

This did not take him long. Next came the 
walls, and Polly's mind was relieved to see that 
the paint which Mother and Uncle Jack were 
mixing was not green at all but a pretty color, 
not exactly buff and not yellow, but a deep 
ivory with brown undertones. Polly thought 
nobody but her mother and uncle could have 
made such a lovely color. They took great 
pains with it, trying dabs on the wall, and 



194 THREE GATES 

mixing and mixing again until finally they 
both said, "There!" 

Then they began to paint, Mother on one 
side of the room and Uncle Jack on another. 
Polly watched in fascination, and her fingers 
fairly itched to get hold of a paint-brush. 

"Mother, mayn't I help?" she begged. 
" I'll be so careful. I do want to paint. 
Please let me." 

" It isn't as easy as it looks," said Mother. 
" We have to make the strokes all the same 
way and to have just the right amount of 
paint on our brushes." 

" It looks such fun," said Polly soberly. 

" Edith, she could paint a chair," said Uncle 
Jack suddenly. 

" She could," agreed Mother, " only that 
paint isn't mixed." 

" I'll stop and mix it," said Uncle Jack 
good-naturedly, and he came down from the 



THE THANKSGIVING SURPRISES 195 

step-ladder. Polly flew at him and hugged 
him as high up as she could reach. 

" Go put on your very oldest dress," said 
Mother, " that faded pink one I said you 
needn't wear any more. And take off your 
good socks and shoes, darling. On Grandma's 
work-table are some socks she said weren't 
worth mending. And your old sneakers with 
the hole in the toe." 

Mother had on a pink smock and her hair 
tied up in a duster, like a Red Cross head- 
dress. Uncle Jack wore his rumpled brown 
smock. So, when Polly hurried out of her 
pretty Thanksgiving garments and into the 
discarded ones, she tied another duster about 
her head to look like Mother. 

When she was dressed, she found one of the 
chairs lying on its side on the newspaper-cov- 
ered kitchen table. Polly could try her hand 
at painting its legs and seat and then some- 



196 THREE GATES 

body would turn it so she could do the back. 
A narrow brush and a pot of paint stood 
ready. 

Polly peeped anxiously into that pot. The 
paint was clear yellow just like that of the 
breakfast-nook. It seemed that the chairs and 
all the woodwork were to be made this pretty 
yellow. There was no indication of any red 
paint, and certainly there was no sign of any 
black cats. 

Polly went eagerly to work, filling her brush 
just as Uncle Jack showed her, and wiping it 
on the edge of the can. She was very careful 
not to spill. 

After an hour, Uncle Jack stopped for a 
cigarette and Mother and Polly for a piece of 
candy, but they rested only a few minutes. 
Polly was as anxious to finish that chair as the 
others were to complete the walls. 

" You've made a good job of that chair," 



THE THANKSGIVING SURPRISES 197 

said Uncle Jack, when Polly announced it 
done. " Couldn't do better myself." 

The walls, it appeared, must have a second 
coat of paint, but one was enough for Polly's 
chair. " May I do the other two to-morrow? " 
she begged. " And the legs of the zinc-topped 
table, and — oh, the waste-basket and the 
radiator and the knife-tray? " 

"We'll see," laughed Mother. "You 
mustn't spend all the Thanksgiving recess 
working in this smell of turpentine." 

" But painting is such fun! " sighed Polly. 
" What color are you going to make the 
floor? " 

The floor was to be stained a sunny brown, 
with a finish which water couldn't spot. When 
Polly had finished their yellow dresses, all the 
chairs were to have trimmings of black 
lines. 

" But no cats? " asked Polly. 



198 THREE GATES 

" No cats," said Mother, " only the dear 
Mittens who doesn't like this smelly place. We 
shall have to put his cushion in the sitting- 
room to-night, on the rug before the fire." 

When the kitchen was finished it was truly 
as pleasant as could be. The washed windows 
shone like rainbows. Each had a new sash- 
curtain made of thin blue and white muslin. 
A new blue-enamelled quart-measure replaced 
the rusty tin one. 

The kitchen wasn't finished till Sunday 
morning, but it was worth all the work put into 
it. Polly was so proud of her chairs that she 
brought Carola in from church school to see 
them. Carola was frankly envious. 

" They never let me paint anything, not even 
the hen-house," she declared. " Susan and 
Dutee did that and they used enough paint to 
cover the barn. Daddy said so. They got it 
on themselves and on the roof and on the big 



THE THANKSGIVING SURPRISES 199 

maple-tree and on Wieky and on Beware-the- 
dog. They even got it on Grandmother, 
though nobody knows how." 

" I got some on myself," Polly confessed, 
" but I had on very old clothes. And Mittens 
was painty because he sat in a chair that 
wasn't quite dry. We kept Kerry out of the 
kitchen. Don't you think Grandma will be 
pleased? " 

" She'll be queer if she isn't," said Carola. 
" I wish our kitchen was just like it." 

Grandma's train reached Longfield at dark, 
and Uncle Jack met her with Justin. Polly 
and Mother were at the door, ready with hugs 
and kisses. Grandma was to find the surprise 
for herself. 

There was much to ask about Aimt Barbara 
and her family and her new house and the 
holiday dinner. Grandma looked at Polly's 
mother. 



200 THREE GATES 

" You look tired, Edith," she said. " I'm 
afraid this has been too much for you. I ought 
not to have gone." 

" I don't feel tired," said her daughter. 
" Of course we've missed you dreadfull}^ but 
it's only fair for Barbara to have you once in 
a while. Let's have a cup of tea. Polly, don't 
you want to put the cups on the table in the 
breakfast-nook? " 

That was precisely what Polly most wanted 
to do. She danced into the kitchen. Mother 
and Grandma followed slowly, still talking, 
and Uncle Jack, with his hands in his pockets, 
sauntered after. They were fairly into the 
dusky kitchen when he suddenly switched on 
the light. 

Grandma was right in the middle of a sen- 
tence about Aunt Barbara. She stopped 
short and looked around as though she couldn't 
believe her eyes. 



THE THANKSGIVING SURPRISES 201 

"Why— why!" she began. "Why, what 
have you been doing? " 

" Do you like it, Grandma? " asked Polly, 
jumping up and down. " It's a s'prise for 
you. I painted the chairs. Grandma! " 

" Like it," said Grandma, and she looked as 
though she were ready to cry. " You dears! " 
she said. " Nobody ever had such good, 
thoughtful children! Edith, this is why you 
look tired. Oh, what a pretty place! You 
clever, clever people ! " 

Everybody hugged and kissed everybody 
else, and Grandma admired everything, from 
the ceiling to the floor, from Polly's chairs to 
the new quart-measure. Oh, Grandma ap- 
preciated every bit of the time and work and 
love and skill and thought put into that newly- 
painted kitchen. 

" And to think my little Polly painted the 
chairs! " she exclaimed again. 



202 THREE GATE8 

" Mother did the black lines," said loyal 
Polly. Just then the front door-bell rang. 

Uncle Jack answered it. They heard him 
open the door and then there was a pause, fol- 
lowed by an exclamation. 

"Stop that, Kerry! Stop it, you little 
demon! Come back! Stay inside here! 
Polly!" he shouted, ''come here right away. 
Mother! Edith! All of you! Come!" 

Everybody hurried to the hall door. Some- 
thing must have happened. Grandma had 
taught Uncle Jack better manners than to 
stand at the front door and yell for his family 
to come and greet a caller. 

Yet that was precisely what he had done, 
only the caller was most unexpected. On the 
piazza, just at the top of the step, in the glow 
of the porch-light, stood Fair Rosamond! 

Polly gave one scream and rushed to her. 
There was no mistake. This was Fair Rosa- 



Polly danced about the porch. Page 203. 



THE THANKSGIVING SURPRISES 203 

mond herself, with a little scar on the side of 
her forehead to show where she once met with 
a bad fall. But this was not the dress she wore 
the night she went away. Fair Rosamond had 
never owned a pretty rose gingham smock 
with knickers to match. 

Screaming with joy, Polly danced about the 
porch before she rushed in from the sharp air. 
Uncle Jack shut the door behind her, but be- 
fore he did so, he looked hard at the shrubbery, 
and peered out into the darkness beyond the 
circle of light. 

In the hall, the family examined Fair Rosa- 
mond and her new outfit. 

" She did have her name in her pocket, and 
so she came back! " Polly gasped. " See^ it's 
here now ! Why, this is a different paper." 

" It is a letter," said Mother, taking it from 
Polly's excited fingers. " Let's see what it 
says." 



204 THREE GATES 

" Deah Mother Pauline," the letter read. 
" Please don't spank me for not coming home 
before. The truth is I got lost in a thicket 
of syringa bushes. I had to camp out there 
till a man with a rake rescued me. And then 
my clothes were so shabby that I thought I had 
better have a new dress before you saw me. 

" I went to a dressmaker, and she was so 
slow that I shall never try her again. I 
thought she never would finish my clothes. 

" It was most lucky, dear Mother, that you 
thoughtfully put your name and address in my 
pocket. Parents should always do this as it 
prevents a wandering child from being lost 
forever. Because of this care on your part, I 
came home to you as soon as my new dress was 
ready. I hope you like the color I chose. It 
is very fashionable at present. And please 
forgive me and love me as you used to do." 

" Mother! " gasped Polly, " where has Fair 
Rosamond been? " 

" Stuck in somebody's syringa hedge, I 
should think," smiled Mother. 



THE THANKSGIVING SURPRISES 205 

" I do wish I could say ' Thank you ' to who- 
ever made this pretty dress and brought Fair 
Rosamond home. I wish I could tell her how 
glad I am! " 

" Why, you have," said Uncle Jack lazily. 
" Your shouts of exultation were certainly 
heard as far as the street, or the bushes by the 
front gate. That's why I called you to the 
door." 

" Oh! " cried Polly, hugging her child again. 
" Oh, Mother, the kitchen is all pretty, and 
Grandma's back from Aunt Barbara's, and 
Fair Rosamond has come home! " 



THE END 



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